Cyclist fined for breaching town centre order

A cyclist has been fined for breaching the Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) in Hemel Hempstead town centre.

Ben Baptiste, of Redbourn, was prosecuted at St Albans Magistrates' Court on Wednesday (9 June 2021). Baptiste was observed riding a bicycle through the pedestrianised area of Marlowes on 22 July 2020 by an Environmental Enforcement Officer.

He was issued a £75 fixed penalty notice for breach of the order but no payment was made. He was subsequently ordered by the court to pay a total of £654 - a fine of £220, a £34 victim surcharge and costs of £400.

Our Enforcement Officers, who are assisted by Hertfordshire Constabulary, Dacorum Safer Neighbourhoods Team, regularly patrol the town centre. Since the PSPO was introduced on 29 July 2019, we have issued 50 warnings and 21 fixed penalty notices. 

Councillor Julie Banks, Portfolio Holder for Community and Regulatory Services, said: “This prosecution sends a clear message to those who put others at risk by breaching the Public Spaces Protection Order. I am grateful to the court for supporting our view and helping to keep the people of Dacorum safe. Cyclists can avoid the pedestrianised area of Marlowes by diverting along Waterhouse Street.”

PSPOs were introduced by the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 and are designed to allow councils to deal with a particular nuisance or problem behaviour in a particular area (a public space) that is damaging to the local community's quality of life. Failure to comply with a PSPO could result in a fixed penalty notice fine or prosecution.

For more information, visit our Public Spaces Protection Orders page.