Public spaces protection orders
We can create public spaces protection orders, or PSPOs, as a way of controlling certain specified anti-social behaviours which have taken place in particular public areas.
Where a behaviour is prohibited under an order for a particular area, it is a criminal offence for any person to engage in such behaviour within that area, without reasonable excuse. Persons found to be doing so by a police officer or another authorised person may be prosecuted (and if convicted, may be required to pay a fine of up to £1,000) or issued a fixed penalty notice for up to £100.
Under orders which restrict the consumption of alcohol in public places, a police officer or authorised person may require any person not to consume alcohol in breach of the order, and to surrender any alcohol in their possession for disposal. Continuing to consume alcohol, or failing to surrender alcohol, is an offence, with a maximum fine on conviction of £500. Fixed penalty notices for up to £100 may also be issued. These orders will not affect the use of licensed pub beer gardens or event sites.
Making an order
We can make a PSPO to prohibit specified behaviours, or require them to be carried out in certain ways, if:
- activities have been (or are likely to be) carried on in a public place, which have had a detrimental effect on the quality of life of those in the locality
- the effect of the activities is of a persistent or continuing nature, makes the activities unreasonable, and justifies the restrictions in the order
We will not make an order unless we believe that the restrictions are reasonable and necessary to control the behaviours specified by the order.
We will consult before we make, extend, vary or discharge orders, as well as publicising such proposals. Consultation will include the police, the police and crime commissioner, community representatives, and owners/occupiers of land within the restricted area.
The following PSPOs are currently in force in Dacorum:
*These orders result from converted designated public places orders (DPPOs), made under previous legislation.
We recently consulted on a proposed new order for Hemel Hempstead town centre, and are currently evaluating the feedback received before we make a decision as to whether or not to introduce new restrictions.
Challenging an order
Anyone who lives in an area covered by an order, or who regularly works in or visits the area, may challenge the validity of the order at the High Court. Such challenges must be made within six weeks of the date on which the order (or variation of an order) was made.