9 March 2018

PSPOs doing the job in parks and opens spaces

Public Space Protection Orders (PSPOs) introduced last year have strengthened the council’s ability to respond to anti-social behaviour in parks and open spaces.

That’s the conclusion of a report going to the Neighbourhoods, Inclusion, Communities & Equalities Committee on 19 March on the effectiveness of the PSPOs over the first year.

Following public consultation, PSPOs came into force along the seafront and in 11 of the city's parks and open spaces in April last year to tackle particular nuisance or problems detrimental to the local community’s quality of life.

The report recommends the order continues to apply in the existing locations, but is not extended to other areas of the city at this stage.

Since the introduction of the orders, the council has not needed to issue any fines (fixed penalty notices) or take any court action taken. However, many verbal warnings have been given and 123 warning letters were issued between April and September 2017. While advice was given to people sleeping in tents in PSPO areas where we had reports of anti-social behaviour, other services have been used to manage problems and refer people on to support.

Councillor Emma Daniel, chair of the committee, said: “These powers were introduced to help us ensure residents could use parks and open spaces having had significant complaints about anti-social behaviour and these orders are making a positive difference.

“It was never about fining people or taking court action for the sake it, the fact that the order is in place can be a deterrent in itself. Where there are breaches of the order, each case is looked at individually, and warning letters have proved effective in quickly resolving problems. It is one of many tools we can use to ensure that the city is a good place to live for everybody.”

The PSPOs cover the seafront from Black Rock to Hove Lagoon and the following parks and open spaces:

  • Greenway
  • Hollingbury Park
  • Lawn Memorial Cemetery and adjacent land (Woodingdean)
  • Preston Park
  • Rottingdean Recreation Ground
  • Sheepcote Valley and East Brighton Park
  • St Helens Green
  • Stanmer Park
  • Surrenden Field
  • Waterhall
  • Wild Park

It imposes prohibitions on:

  • Occupying any vehicle, caravan, tent or other structure
  • Driving any vehicle on grass
  • Littering or fly tipping
  • Lighting or maintaining a fire
  • Defecating or urinating

On request by an authorised officer, police officer or police community support officer, anyone challenged needs to:

  • remove any vehicle, caravan, tent or other structure within 12 hours
  • disposing of items as directed
  • permit a council, police or fire officer to extinguish a fire
  • provide a name, address and date of birth when required to do so by a council or police officer

You can read the full report in the papers for the 19 March Neighbourhoods, Inclusion, Communities & Equalities Committee (agenda item 73).

For more information about the PSPOs, visit www.brighton-hove.gov.uk/pspo.