Public Spaces Protection Orders
Public spaces protection orders (PSPOs) are intended to deal with a particular nuisance or problem in a particular area that is detrimental to the local community’s qualify of life, by imposing conditions on the use of that area which apply to everyone. They are designed to ensure the law-abiding majority can use and enjoy public spaces, safe from anti-social behaviour.
Current PSPOs in west Cheshire can be viewed on the Community Safety Partnership website:
Who can make a PSPO
Councils will be responsible for making the new PSPO although enforcement powers will be much broader. District councils will take the lead in England with county councils undertaking the role only where there is no district council. In London, borough councils will be able to make PSPOs, as will the Common Council of the City of London and the Council of the Isles of Scilly. In Wales, responsibility will fall to county councils or county borough councils. The new power is not available to parish councils and town councils in England, or community councils in Wales. Section 71 ensures that bodies other than local authorities can make PSPOs in certain circumstances by order of the Secretary of State. This will allow the City of London Corporation to continue managing a number of public spaces with the permission of, and on behalf of, local authorities.
The test is designed to be broad and focus on the impact anti-social behaviour is having on victims and communities. A PSPO can be made by the council if they are satisfied on reasonable grounds that the activities carried out, or likely to be carried out, in a public space:
- have had, or are likely to have, a detrimental effect on the quality of life of those in the locality;
- is, or is likely to be, persistent or continuing in nature;
- is, or is likely to be, unreasonable; and
- justifies the restrictions imposed.
Where can it apply
The council can make a PSPO on any public space within its own area. The definition of public space is wide and includes any place to which the public or any section of the public has access, on payment or otherwise, as of right or by virtue of express or implied permission, for example a shopping centre.
Working with partners
Before making a PSPO, the council must consult with the local police. This should be done formally through the chief officer of police and the Police and Crime Commissioner, but details could be agreed by working level leads. This is an opportunity for the police and council to share information about the area and the problems being caused as well as discuss the practicalities of enforcement. In addition, the owner or occupier of the land should be consulted. This should include the County Council (if the PSPO application is not being led by them) where they are the Highway Authority.
The council must also consult whatever community representatives they think appropriate. This could relate to a specific group, for instance the residents association, or an individual or group of individuals, for instance, regular users of a park or specific activities such as busking or other types of street entertainment. Before the PSPO is made, the council also has to publish the draft order in accordance with regulations published by the Secretary of State.
For further information please contact the Community Safety Team: