Response to media coverage of Public Space Protection Order (PSPO)
19 October 2016
The Council’s decision to create a Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) in West Bridgford, following a six-week consultation process prior to approval, has been widely covered in the media this week.
We believe that the media headlines have been misleading and so wanted to clarify some details about the PSPO, how it works and what it is there to tackle.
The PSPO isn’t an order to tackle homelessness and rough sleeping – it has been brought in, with the support of key partners such as the Police and Nottinghamshire County Council, to help tackle anti-social behaviours associated with street drinking and rough sleeping, namely:
- Vomiting, urinating and defecating in public areas
- violence, aggressive or intimidating behaviour.
- criminal damage.
The PSPO will act as a deterrent for antisocial behaviour and gives designated officers a tool to use when tackling antisocial behaviour. To be clear, we aren’t targeting rough sleepers who are asleep on a bench and aren’t causing problems – this order is targeted at individuals who are deliberately behaving in a way that means residents can’t use the open spaces in West Bridgford. Our residents have told us that they want our park benches and green spaces to be available to them without the fear of intimidation, violence or finding litter or and drug waste.
We aren’t trying to knock people when they’re down, as a Council we always try to support homeless people to move to suitable accommodation because we take a proactive approach to homelessness. We have an excellent track record in supporting homeless people with a connection to Rushcliffe to find accommodation and get back on their feet.
The PSPO is a tool which will encourage people to seek support and interact with the support available, so they can get help for any addiction problems and find accommodation.
The £100 Fixed Penalty Notice is very much a last resort and would only be given out to people who are acting in an antisocial way, are refusing support and assistance from the Council and relevant charities, and don’t comply with the authorised officer’s request to stop the unacceptable behaviour.