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PSPO deadline is closer than you might think…

Kuljit Bhogal looks at the key dates to be aware of when considering PSPOs...

The Home Office has confirmed that various orders relating to the use of public space will lapse in October 2020 unless steps are taken to formally extend them.

The affected orders are:

  • Designated Public Place Orders made under s.13(2) of the Criminal Justice and Police Act 2001
  • Dog Control Orders made under Chapter 1 of Part 6 of the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005, and
  • Gating Orders made under Part 8A of the Highways Act 1980

These orders have been replaced by Public Space Protection Orders ('PSPOs') which were introduced by the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014.

Existing orders transition to PSPOs from 20 October 2017 and could be in force for a further three years until October 2020. An extension beyond this date would require the necessary consultation to be undertaken as set out in section 72(3) of the 2014 Act. Authorities must also be satisfied that the requisite evidence base exists and must factor in time to ensure the preparation is done in accordance with the statutory requirements.

PSPOs are made in respect of public spaces and they place controls on the use of a space and everyone within it. The orders can be made where behaviour is having, or is likely to have a detrimental effect on the quality of life of those in the locality, is of a persistent or continuing nature and is unreasonable. Breach of a PSPO is a criminal offence.

PSPOs have been used to place controls on consuming alcohol/illegal highs in public places, to control the presence of dogs and buskers and to ban activities such as aggressive begging.

The use to which PSPOs have been put has attracted adverse publicity from various bodies including Liberty, details can be found in this e-flash. The Government is now looking at issuing new statutory guidance to supplement the Act. The new guidance will deal with all of the powers created by the 2014 Act.

Further information on putting PSPO in place can be found in chapter 7 of Kuljit's book Cornerstone on Anti-Social Behaviour: The New Law. If you would like advice on how best to avoid a challenge, or if you are facing a challenge do get in touch.