Public spaces to be protected from anti-social behaviour

A new Public Spaces Protection Order has been introduced covering the whole of Northampton and those breaching its conditions could ultimately face a £1,000 fine.

Northampton Borough Council has introduced the new order – routinely called a PSPO – following public consultation around the proposed restrictions contained in the draft.

The agreed document includes bans on the following in public places:

  • Alcohol consumption (excluding areas directly associated with a licensed venue) – 86 per cent support
  • Non-prescription drug use – 92 per cent support
  • Urination or defecation (except for use of public toilets) – 95 per cent support
  • Failure of owners to remove dog faeces – 98 per cent
  • Dogs being off the lead in children’s play areas or cemeteries – 73 per cent support
  • Spitting

There was no overwhelming support (48 per cent) for a time limit on buskers and other street entertainers operating in the town centre and Kingsley Front, so this was not introduced.

Cllr Anna King, Council Cabinet member for community safety and engagement, said: “A PSPO has been in place within the borough for several years now, but we’ve updated and renewed it.

“The kind of anti-social activity we have included has an extremely detrimental effect on the attractiveness of our town and how people feel about it, so we are working with partners to clamp down.”

Enforcement activity will be shared between Northampton Borough Council and Northamptonshire Police and breaching the conditions of a PSPO is a criminal offence which could attract fixed penalty notice of £100 or prosecution resulting in a £1,000 fine upon conviction.

Superintendent Kevin Mulligan, Northamptonshire Police Commander for the West Local Policing Area, said: “I’m really pleased to see the introduction of this Public Spaces Protection Order. Why? Because it is as a direct result of what local residents, businesses and communities told us they wanted us to focus our efforts upon and deal with robustly because of the impact it has on their quality of life.

“Together with our statutory partners we will look to make good use of the powers afforded to us, if necessary taking enforcement action towards those who disregard the ban on behaviour and activity not permitted.”