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PSPO overview

What is a Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO)?

A PSPO is a power contained in the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014. Orders can be introduced in a specific public area by the Local Authority to target a range of different anti-social behaviour issues. PSPOs are intended to deal with a particular nuisance or problem in an area that negatively affects the local community's quality of life by imposing restrictions on certain types of behaviour for example; consumption of alcohol in the street, drug misuse, anti-social behaviour, begging, graffiti and vandalism.

PSPOs can only be introduced by a Local Authority after necessary consultation, legal notification and adequate publicity. A PSPO can last a maximum of three years, although it can be extended or varied during the course of its life.

Who do PSPOs apply to?

PSPOs apply to everyone when they're in an area where a PSPO is in place.

Where can a PSPO be introduced?

The Local Authority can introduce a PSPO on any public space within its boundaries. The definition of a public space is wide and includes any place where the public or any section of the public has access to, whether this is by payment, by right or by express or implied permission.

What's the penalty for breaching a PSPO?

PSPOs can be enforced by Police Officers, Police Community Support Officer’s or any Officer designated by the Local Authority for example; Street Wardens. If you breach a PSPO, you could receive the following penalties:

  • A £25 fine on the spot, known as a Fixed Penalty Notice
  • A fine of up to £1,000 if the charge goes to court

Further information on PSPOs is available here.