Public Spaces Protection Orders (PSPOs) specify an area where activities are taking place that may negatively affect the local community's quality of life.

PSPOs impose conditions or restrictions on people using that area, such as alcohol bans or putting up gates (since 2014 PSPOs have replaced Alley Gating Orders).

Breach of a PSPO may be a criminal offence punishable by fixed penalty notice or prosecution.

What is a Public Spaces Protection Order

In October 2014 new legislation was introduced across England and Wales called the Antisocial Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014. This allows local authorities to apply for Public Spaces Protection Orders (PSPOs).

PSPOs can only be introduced by a council after a necessary consultation, notification and publicity. A PSPO can last a maximum of three years, although it can be extended or varied (or discharged) during the course of its life.

PSPOs are intended to 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 behaviours.

A single PSPO can cover multiple restrictions, such as drinking alcohol on the street, begging and antisocial parking.

Who do PSPOs apply to

PSPOs apply to everyone when they're in an area where a PSPO is in place.

Where can a PSPO apply

The Local Authority can introduce a PSPO on any public space within its authority. The definition of a public space is wide and includes any place where the public or any section of the public has access to, whether this is by payment, by right or by express or implied permission.

Why were PSPOs introduced

PSPOs were designed to ensure the law-abiding majority can use and enjoy public spaces, safe from antisocial behaviour.

PSPOs are intended to 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 behaviours.

A single PSPO can cover multiple restrictions, such as drinking alcohol on the street, begging and antisocial parking.

What's the penalty for breaching a PSPO

PSPOs can be enforced by police officers, police community safety officers or any officer designated by the Local Authority. If you breach a PSPO, you can receive the following penalties:

  • A £100 fine on the spot, known as a Fixed Penalty Notice
  • A fine of up to £1,000 if the charge goes to court

Current PSPOs