Public Space Protection Order

Proposal to introduce a Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) Earlswood

Please note - The closing date for online questionnaires is Friday 8th January 2021

What is a Public Space Protection Order (“PSPO")?

The Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 introduced Public Space Protection Orders (PSPO's). PSPO's are used to protect the public from behaviour that is having, or is likely to have, a detrimental effect on the quality of life of those in a locality and which is (or is likely to be) of a persistent or continuing nature, and unreasonable. Councils can make PSPO's to prohibit specified activities, and/or to require certain things to be done by people engaged in particular activities, within a defined area.

Why Earlswood?

Stratford-on-Avon District Council (“the Council") works in partnership with many statutory partners, including Warwickshire Police, the Police and Crime Commissioner and local councils, to prevent crime, disorder and anti-social behaviour (“ASB"). Over the last three years, the Council and Police have received an increasing number of reports from residents regarding criminal and anti-social behaviour in the Earlswood Lakes area of Warwickshire.

The behaviour reported to the Council and Warwickshire Police includes;-

  • Possession and use of psychoactive substances such as Nitrous Oxide including gas canisters left in and around Earlswood Lakes.
  • Incidents relating to antisocial use of vehicles, which includes excessive engine reeving, speeding, racing, and car cruising. (For the purpose of this consultation, these behaviours will be referred to as Car Cruising.)
  • Loitering - Those hanging around and are perceived to be causing, intimidation, harassment, alarm or distress to another person.
  • Possession of alcohol and antisocial behaviour associated with consuming alcohol.

The Council have held discussions with Warwickshire Police regarding the criminal and anti-social behaviour taking place in Earlswood, to look at the best way to tackle it. From these discussions, the Council believes that a PSPO is an appropriate and necessary tool for local agencies to reduce incidents of those listed above.

What is the objective of the PSPO?

To implement a PSPO for up to 3 years to deal specifically with:-

  • Possession and use of psychoactive substances in the area
  • Car cruising – Anti-social use of vehicles that is detrimental to the local community's quality of life.
  • Loitering - A person breaches the PSPO if they are loitering and causing, or are reasonably perceived to be causing, intimidation, harassment, alarm or distress to another person.
  • Alcohol consumption and/or anti-social behaviour associated with it.

Could the objective be achieved in any other way?

The objective could be achieved through the implementation of a byelaw, under the Local Government Act 1972. However, enforcement measures are restricted to formal prosecution in the magistrates' courts. PSPO's 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 areas. A PSPO can cover multiple restrictions.

What will be the impact on those affected by it?

In the Council's view, the PSPO will assist the public to enjoy the area publicly accessible land and prevent and/or reduce anti-social behaviour.

How does making the proposed PSPO compare with taking no further action?

The PSPO is considered to have a positive impact when compared to taking no action as it will allow the police to provide earlier intervention and prevent antisocial behaviour. A PSPO also allows the use of a fixed penalty notice of up £100 or fine of up to £1,000 for breaches of the Order.

How is a PSPO put in place?

The local council defines the exact details of a local PSPO. The Council must consult with the Chief Constable, the Police and Crime Commissioner, key community representatives/stakeholders and the owner or occupier of any land within the “restricted area". Once a formal consultation has been undertaken a report is presented at the Councils Overview and Scrutiny group and final report is presented at a Cabinet meeting of the Council for final approval. Once a PSPO is in place a Police Officer, Police Community Support Officer (PCSO) or designated council officer can enforce breaches of a PSPO. A breach of the Order can be dealt with through the issuing of a Fixed Penalty Notice of up to £100, or a fine of up to £1,000 on prosecution or £500 for breach of alcohol restrictions.

A number of partners and key stakeholders were consulted when looking to produce this Order including Warwickshire Police, Tanworth-in-Arden Parish Council, Canal and River Trust, Warwickshire County Council, West Midlands Police and Warwickshire Police and Crime Commissioner's Office. The Council has also liaised with community groups and representatives from the local area. In undertaking this formal consultation, relevant local groups/stakeholders, will be contacted directly. In addition, to make sure all members of the public are consulted (in case we omit any group or person), the draft consultation document will be published online.

When considering what could be included in this PSPO, it was important to balance things that people want in order to feel safer in Earlswood, whilst at the same time not being seen to be stopping people enjoying themselves, or introducing rules and regulations that cannot be enforced.

Having taken account, the views of the above organisations and community representatives and reports from the community we are proposing the following conditions:

  • No possession or use of psychoactive substances (incl. Nitrous Oxide) - Possession and use of psychoactive substances would not be allowed within the public areas of the proposed PSPO area.
  • No car cruising (anti-social use of vehicles) - To prohibit anti-social use of vehicles in the area, to improve the safety and quality of life of local residents and visitors to the area.
  • No Loitering and causing harassment, intimidation - To prohibit loitering in the area - behaviour causing or perceived to be causing intimidation, alarm, harassment and distress within the proposed area.
  • Two options on alcohol are being considered:
    • No outside alcohol consumption (complete alcohol ban). A complete ban of drinking alcohol within the defined area, alcohol consumption would be contained within the boundaries of licensed/residential premises only.
    • Anti-social behaviour caused by alcohol consumption. To prohibit only those drinking alcohol AND acting in an anti-social manner within the defined area.

What is the area to be covered by the PSPO?

PSPO map

The proposed boundary of PSPO would cover the Warwickshire side of Earlswood (see map above for proposed area).

As part of the consultation, the Council will also take into account the requirements under the Equality Act 2010 and the Human Rights Act 1998. This legislation includes the right to lawful assembly, and the right to freedom of expression.

Thank you taking the time to read this summary of the draft proposals.

Please see below links for full draft Order and online questionnaire. Please complete the questionnaire if you want to take part in the formal consultation. The closing date for online questionnaires is Friday 8th January 2021.

Full Earlswood PSPO Draft legal order

Earlswood PSPO formal consultation questionnaire

If you require a paper copy of the documents or wish to discuss this further, please e-mail either:

Sam Slemensek – sam.slemensek@stratford-dc.gov.uk

Jenny Logan – jenny.logan@stratford-dc.gov.uk

Contact: the Community Safety team

Last updated on 07/01/2021