Public spaces protection orders (PSPOs) are intended to deal with nuisance or problems that are harmful to the local community's quality of life.
PSPOs work by imposing conditions on the use of the area, so that the law-abiding majority can use and enjoy public spaces, safe from anti-social behaviour.
PSPOs include similar powers that used to be covered by controlled drinking zones (which gave police officers the power to stop anyone drinking alcohol if causing a nuisance or distress to others and/or confiscate open or sealed cans or bottles of alcohol if they thought it was likely to be drunk in a public place).
Where can a PSPO apply?
A council can make a PSPO on any public space within its own area. The definition of public space is wide and may include any place to which the public has access as of right or by permission.
Failure to comply with a PSPO
Failure to comply with a PSPO is an offence that could result in a fixed penalty notice (FPN) of up to £100 in a magistrates court. Police and council officers, and officers authorised by the council, can enforce the conditions of PSPOs and can issue fixed penalty notices of £100 for non-compliance.
Refusal to pay the FPN can lead to prosecution and a criminal record with a maximum fine of £1,000.
What PSPOs are in place?
PSPO Parks and Public Places 2023 (PDF)[1MB] contains full details of our PSPO policy and the Anti-Social Behaviour Crime and Policing Act 2014 section 59, and imposes the following prohibitions in all public spaces within the borough of Hillingdon:
alcohol and drugs - includes but not limited to the possession of an open container of alcohol and its consumption
vehicle nuisance - includes but not limited to car meets, street racing
urinating, defecating and spitting - except in a premise designed for that purpose
dogs and vermin - includes being in possession of more than 4 dogs on the street, dog fouling, dog without lead, bird feeding
parks and open spaces - unauthorised fireworks or barbeque, unauthorised use of mineral or metal detector, smoking within a children's play area, unauthorised fishing or dredging, remaining in a park at a designated closing time or refusing to leave when required by an authorised officer, unauthorised use of a megaphone, loudspeaker or any similar equipment
general prohibitions - includes but not limited to unauthorised encampment, verbal abuse and harassment, aggressive begging
obstruction - includes giving false information, physically obstructing an authorised officer, and refusing to comply with reasonable instruction in compliance with this PSPO.
Reporting a breach of a PSPO
Catching offenders in the act is difficult, so information identifying an offender is vital and should be collected before a report is made to us.
What we need to know
The exact location and time the breach took place (a 2-week diary noting down the frequency of occurrences are vital for certain PSPO reports, such as dog fouling and bird feeding).
Which criteria from the PSPO was breached.
Real evidence of the breach or a witness statement.