Public Spaces Protection Orders
A Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) places rules on a public space. A PSPO can either require or restrict certain behaviour in that area. They’re used in areas where specific behaviour is having a negative effect on people who use that space. For example, a PSPO might require dogs to be kept on a lead at all times in a certain area, or it might ban people from behaving in a certain way.
PSPOs are made available under the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 and can only be put in place by Councils. However, Councils must consult with affected communities and the local Police before putting a PSPO in place.
A PSPO can remain in place for up to three years.
Breaching a PSPO is a criminal offence and can lead to a Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN) or prosecution.
In Gloucester, Fixed Penalty Notices of up to £80 can be served to people who breach a PSPO. If a prosecution takes place, the fine can be up to £1,000 and also involves attendance at court.
PSPOs can also restrict access to certain pieces of land that are usually open to the public. This is usually done where ongoing anti-social behaviour has occurred. These specific PSPOs were previously known as Gating Orders. When legislation changed in 2014, Gating Orders automatically became PSPOs which will remain in place until 2020. Gloucester City Council had 6 Gating Orders in place across the City, most of which are gating off alleyways, and we are in the process of reviewing all of these. These reviews will be completed by the end of 2019.
All of the Public Spaces Protection Orders that are in place in Gloucester are listed below:
City Centre Alcohol Free Zone
This PSPO bans anyone from drinking alcohol in a public space (on the streets, in a park or any other public space) within the city centre area.
This PSPO is in place across the entire City and specifies:
- Dogs must be kept under control at all times, and put on a lead if requested
- Dogs are not allowed in children's play parks
- Dog fouling must be cleaned up
- Anyone drinking alcohol in a public space must dispose of or hand over their alcohol when requested to do so by an authorised officer, if the request is made in order to stop or prevent a nuisance.
Organs Alley PSPO
This PSPO restricts access to Organs Alley, an alleyway off of Eastgate Street in Gloucester City centre which was affected by anti-social behaviour and crime.
Useful Information on PSPOs
Enforcement of PSPOs
The enforcement of PSPOs in Gloucester focusses on education initially. Our aim is that a person who is witnessed breaching any PSPO is first of all given advice regarding the PSPO and offered a chance to change their behaviour. If the advice and opportunity to change behaviour are ignored, then enforcement action may be taken.
Breaching a PSPO is a criminal offence and can lead to a Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN) or prosecution. In Gloucester, Fixed Penalty Notices of up to £80 can be served to people who breach a PSPO. If a prosecution takes place, the fine can be up to £1,000 and also involves attendance at court.
Education and enforcement of PSPOs in Gloucester is carried out by the Council, Police and our partner agencies. For example, we work closely with Gloucester CitySafe whose City Protection Officers patrol the City centre.
Multi-agency information, local intelligence and ASB and crime reports will be used to direct our engagement with individuals, the education and enforcement of the PSPO. For PSPOs to work successfully, we rely on members of the public reporting issues that they see.
Breaches of PSPOs should be reported to:
The local Neighbourhood Policing team:
- Call 101 (in an emergency always dial 999)
- Report online
Solace – the City’s anti-social behaviour team:
- Call via the City Council on 01452 396396
- email firstname.lastname@example.org
The Council is committed to an “engage, support, enforce” approach when working with people involved in anti-social behaviour (ASB).
We have a multi-agency anti-social behaviour team called Solace. Made up of Council and Police officers, Solace deal with high level ASB and ASB which occurs in public places. For more information on Solace and how to report anti-social behaviour click here
Street Aware - Street Based Anti-Social Behaviour
The City Council set up an approach called Street Aware in 2016. Street Aware is innovative because it brings support and enforcement agencies together much more closely to address street-based anti-social behaviour in partnership.
The wraparound approach of Street Aware means that we don’t just look at the “problem”, we look at the individual pieces of the issue and the individual people who are involved in it.
By approaching a problem from different angles, and by addressing the root causes of anti-social behaviour, we are able to tackle it more effectively. Most importantly, we are better able to work with people, some of whom may be vulnerable, to access any support they might need to make positive changes.
Many issues can be resolved successfully through working with individuals, the community and partner agencies to address negative behaviours and their root causes, and without the need for legal action.
Gloucester City Council’s stance on PSPOs
Before a PSPO is considered, all reasonable and appropriate interventions should be tried to address the behaviour which is having a negative effect on the community. A PSPO, like any legal order, is a last resort that should be put in place only when other interventions have been tried and are unsuccessful.
Who is responsible for PSPOs?
The Council’s Community Wellbeing Team is responsible for overseeing Public Space Protection Orders in the City.
Where complaints of anti-social behaviour (ASB) are received, our multi-agency ASB team Solace will first investigate the allegations and take all reasonable steps to work with communities to resolve any issues. Solace will gather any evidence and if a PSPO is deemed an appropriate option, they will work with the Community Wellbeing Team to explore this.
If you would like further information on Public Spaces Protection Orders you can contact the Community Wellbeing Team by email at email@example.com