Spelthorne Anti-social Behaviour PSPO (Town Centre)

Borough-wide consultation for a Public Space Protection Order to tackle anti-social behaviour related to drinking in public spaces

Public Spaces Protection Orders (PSPO) were introduced in the Anti-Social Behaviour Crime and Policing Act 2014. They are intended to deal with a particular nuisance or problem that is detrimental to the local community’s quality of life by imposing conditions on the use of that area. Failure to comply with the conditions is a criminal offence.

Spelthorne Borough Council would like your views on a borough-wide Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) prohibiting street drinking associated with anti-social behaviour.

Types of anti-social behaviour in relation to street drinking include:

  • groups causing intimidation and annoyance to members of the public and businesses.
  • drinking alcohol in public places, including high streets, outside train stations, parks and open spaces and by the River Thames
  • urinating/defecating in public open spaces.
  • anti-social behaviour within public car parks.

A PSPO is being proposed with the following conditions:

  1. Street Drinking- No person shall consume alcohol in public within the Borough of Spelthorne IF there is anti-social behaviour associated with street drinking, a police officer, designated officer or PCSO can:
  • require a person not to consume alcohol
  • require a person to surrender any alcohol in his/her possession
  • dispose of the alcohol.

This is NOT a ban on drinking alcohol in a public place but provides the police and local authority with additional powers to tackle alcohol related anti-social behaviour or disorder.

  1. Anti-Social Behaviour- No person shall loiter in the Borough of Spelthorne either as an individual or part of a group if they are causing or likely to cause anti-social behaviour. If asked to disperse by a police officer, PCSO or an authorised officer that person must not return to Area 1 for a period of 24 hours.
  1. Public urination/defecation– No person shall urinate/defecate in a public open space within the designated area.

Why is a PSPO to tackle antisocial behaviour related to street drinking required?

The PSPO is designed to ensure the law-abiding majority can use and enjoy public spaces without experiencing anti-social behaviour. These powers are not intended to disrupt peaceful activities and are used explicitly for addressing nuisance or annoyance associated with the consumption of alcohol in a public place. It is not a criminal offence to consume alcohol within a designated area. An offence is only committed if the individual refuses to comply with an authorised officer’s request to stop drinking. A PSPO cannot be used to restrict the consumption of alcohol where premises are licensed for the supply of alcohol as licensing law already includes safeguards against premises becoming associated with nuisance and anti-social behaviour. Alcohol related anti-social behaviour can quickly escalate and have a significant and lasting impact upon communities. Whilst most residents, visitors or people living and working in the borough drink socially and behave responsibly, their right to enjoyment of our public spaces can be threatened by those who behave in anti-social manner. The PSPO will allow Police and authorised officers to ask individuals to stop drinking and have their alcoholic drinks confiscated if they are deemed to be acting antisocially. It is an offence to fail to comply with a request to stop drinking or surrender alcohol including any opened or sealed containers in the area covered by the PSPO.

How would the PSPO be enforced?

  • breach of a PSPO is a criminal offence subject to, up to a level three fine on prosecution (up to £1,000)
  • a Fixed Penalty Notice can be issued for £100 for failing to comply with an officer’s request to stop drinking or hand over the alcohol
  • payment of the Fixed Penalty Notice discharges liability to conviction for the offence
  • the Police will work in partnership with the council to ensure the effective enforcement of the PSPO.

How long would the PSPO last for?

At any point before expiry, the council can extend a Public Space Protection Orders by up to three years if they consider it is necessary to prevent the original behaviour from occurring or recurring.

Public engagement is a legislative requirement when considering the implementation of a PSPO.

Who do we want to hear from?

The consultation is open to all, but we would particularly encourage local people, businesses and visitors to Spelthorne to respond. We would particularly welcome responses from stakeholders responding on behalf of particular groups impacted by the PSPO.

Why your views matter 

Spelthorne Borough Council is seeking specifically to obtain feedback on whether there is public support for the proposed PSPO.

Questions will be focused on the impact of antisocial behaviour on local communities and if respondents support the implementation of the PSPO which provides the police with additional powers to tackle the issue.

Thank you for taking the time to complete the questionnaire. 

Timeline

  • Opened
    23 Sep 2022 at 08:00
  • Closed
    21 Oct 2022 at 23:59

Consultation Documents