Public Spaces Protection Orders (PSPOs)

Public Spaces Protection Orders (PSPOs) are intended to deal with anti-social behaviours within a particular area that have a detrimental impact on the local community’s qualify of life, by imposing restrictions on activities in that area which apply to everyone. They are designed to ensure the law-abiding majority can use and enjoy public spaces, safe from anti-social behaviour.

Enforcement of a PSPO

Failure to comply with a PSPO is a criminal offence and can result in prosecution which could lead upon conviction to a fine of up to £1,000 or a fixed penalty notice of £100.

PSPOs can be enforced by the police, council enforcement officers or any other authorised officers. The Council is working with Essex Police to enable the effective enforcement of the PSPO.

PSPO in Southend-on-Sea

On the 11th July 2019 and following a period of consultation the Council made a PSPO under section 59 of the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014.

The PSPO is now in force in a ‘Restricted Area’ that includes Southend Town Centre, Southend Seafront, Southchurch Hall Gardens, Hamlet Court Road and York Road (as shaded pink on the plan). The PSPO has been brought in to prohibit the occurrence and recurrence of the following activities:

  • urination, defecation, spitting or littering
  • drinking alcohol or failing to surrender any containers believed to contain alcohol when an authorised officer has asked someone to stop in the Drinking Control Area
  • drinking alcohol outside the Drinking Control Area but in the Restricted Area and behaving in an anti-social manner or failing to surrender any containers believed to contain alcohol when an authorised officer has asked someone to stop
  • taking drugs or substances believed to be psychoactive
  • begging
  • approaching or stopping someone with the intent of asking for details to set up payments for the benefit of charitable or other purposes, unless authorised by the Council.
  • sleeping in a public place in a manner that has a detrimental impact on the quality of life of others in the locality
  • putting up tents

The Drinking Control Area is shaded blue on the plan.

The purpose of the PSPO is to assist in tackling the repeat offenders whose anti-social behaviour makes the ‘Restricted Area’ a less pleasant place to be. The PSPO is intended as a last resort once it is clear that all attempts of assistance by the Council have been unsuccessful. Further, the purpose of the PSPO is also not to target people based solely on the fact that someone is homeless or rough sleeping. The Council will continue to assist such individuals who require help and support.

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