Page last updated at 24 October 2016 at 15:07
Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) for Chandler's Ford
Following consultation on a scheme aimed at preventing drink-fuelled anti-social behaviour in the Chandler's Ford shopping area, the Local Area Committee approved the proposal to introduce a Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) on Wednesday 14th September.
The PSPO will create a “no drinking zone” in Chandler's Ford town centre giving police officers, PCSOs and council staff powers to ask individuals to stop drinking - and to confiscate alcoholic drinks if they are causing or likely to cause anti-social behaviour.
Following the making of the Order, there is a 6 week period whereby any person may apply to the High Court to question the validity of the Order on the grounds specified in Section 66(2) of the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014.
The full wording of the Order can be found on the Eastleigh Borough Council website at www.eastleigh.gov.uk. The 6 week period will conclude on Sunday 5th December 2016. If no objections have been made the Order will then become valid. Signage will be erected throughout the area so that the public are made aware of the Order.
If you have questions concerning this please contact the Community Safety team at Eastleigh Borough Council, Eastleigh House, Upper Market Street, Eastleigh, SO50 9YN. (023 8068 8000).
A. Background information
Public Space Protection Orders were created in the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 and can be used to regulate activities in particular public places that can have a detrimental effect on the local community. They can help by giving local councils and local police additional powers to tackle antisocial behaviour in specific locations.
In the last 6 months there have been an increasing number of calls and complaints by members of the public and local businesses to the police and the council about anti-social behaviour in Chandler's Ford town centre generally - and in Fryern Arcade in particular. Most of these calls relate to behaviour by adult males who are drinking alcohol, fighting or urinating in public.
The authorities have tried a number of measures to reduce this behaviour and some of these have been successful with certain individuals. However the area has now attracted many other individuals from other parts of Hampshire and the problems have continued. Following representations by the police, shopkeepers, and members of the public, the Council has decided that it should consider using the powers granted to it to try and control the behaviour outlined.
One measure proposed is the introduction of a controlled alcohol zone.
B . Proposed scope of the order
This Public Space Protection Order proposes to bring in a controlled alcohol zone for the shaded area of Chandler’s Ford shown on the map. This measure will mean that, whilst it is not an offence to drink alcohol in a public space, it will be an offence to fail to comply with a request by an authorised officer to cease drinking or surrender alcohol.
The order will provide the police and other accredited officers with the power to require individuals to stop consuming alcohol within a designated public place.
Such an order provides a power of confiscation and disposal of the alcohol, plus a police power of arrest for failure to comply with directions.
These discretionary powers will allow authorised officers to take positive action where appropriate and prevent disorder; the alcohol consumption must be associated with anti-social or disorderly behaviour or the belief that such behaviour may occur.
C. Frequently asked questions
1. What are Public Spaces Protection Orders (PSPO)?
These are areas that can be designated by Eastleigh Borough Council where anti-social behaviour has been causing a nuisance or annoyance. In these areas, police, police community support officers and some council officers have certain powers to tackle such behaviour.
2. Are there time restrictions on a PSPO?
The PSPO will be in force all hours of the day, every day. The PSPO will last for up to three years and can be extended following a review.
3. Will there be any extra policing to enforce the PSPO?
No. Police Neighbourhood Teams will continue to patrol and respond to incidents as part of their community response.
4. What are the benefits of a PSPO?
The main benefits of a PSPO are to help tackle anti-social behaviour associated with street drinking, begging, urinating in the street, and aggressive or intimidating behaviour of groups or individuals.
5. What are the concerns and issues with street drinking?
Street drinking is sometimes associated with anti-social behaviour, causing high levels of noise, rowdy and nuisance behaviour, harassment and intimidation of passers-by, as well as the littering of cans and bottles.
6. How will the PSPO work?
Officers can request people to stop drinking alcohol in the designated public places and ask to surrender their drink, including unopened containers of drink being carried. If people refuse they can be issued a fixed penalty notice of up to £75 and/or face prosecution.
A PSPO is not an outright ban on street drinking. It is not an offence to consume alcohol in a public place; the offence is failing to comply with an officer’s request.
7. Can I be stopped or arrested for carrying alcohol or legal highs in public spaces?
A PSPO does not make it illegal to carry alcohol or to drink alcohol in a public place. So long as drinking is done responsibly a PSPO will only be used to tackle alcohol related, anti-social behaviour or disorder. Under these circumstances police and council officers (where designated) will have the power to stop people drinking alcohol and seize or confiscate alcohol within the controlled area. If you fail to comply with an officer’s request to stop drinking and/or dispose of alcohol, you could face a Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN).
8. Do Police already have these powers?
The Police can make an arrest for street drinking related anti-social behaviour, or similar behaviour from intoxication by other substances. However, it is only an offence to refuse an officer’s request to stop drinking alcohol/taking legal highs or to surrender alcohol/legal highs when asked, where a PSPO is in operation. Where there is no PSPO in operation, it is not an offence alone to refuse to surrender alcohol/legal highs, although any related anti-social behaviour can give cause for arrest.
9. Will there be signs alerting people to the new PSPO?
10. Would people still be able to drink or hold alcohol bottles outside pubs?
The PSPO does not make it illegal to drink alcohol in a public place. However, if a person was to drink beyond the legal boundary of a licensed premise and they do not stop drinking if asked to do so by a police officer or another designated officer, then they could be at risk of breaching the Order.
11. Are licensed premises affected?
Although a PSPO would restrict alcohol consumption in a public area the Act states that licensed premises are not affected.
12. What about street parties and events in parks?
Events within a public place authorised by a premises license or a Temporary Event Notice (TEN) will be excluded from the PSPO powers.