Blackpool Council using new ASB powers to ban inappropriate dress

I was just on BBC Radio Lancashire with Blackpool Council Cabinet Member for Housing, Public Safety and Enforcement Gillian Campbell. She said that the council would use the new anti-social behaviour powers today, issuing community protection notices against some businesses. She also stated the council’s intention to use public spaces protection orders to ban street drinking in the town centre, and also to target the dress of stag and hen parties that visit the town. There will be a restriction on ‘public nudity’ or inappropriate dress in the daytime.

This move to regulate public dress – and to make it a criminal offence to dress inappropriately – represents a worrying move of the state into questions of fashion and mores. There are laws against public disorder – a measure such as this will make the mere showing of cleavage into a criminal offence. And who in the council will be appointed the judge of what is and is not inappropriate dress? Will there be official measures issued for the length of ladies’ skirts?

EVENT, 21 OCTOBER: Debate these new powers tomorrow night at a Manifesto Club clubnight, What will the ASB Act mean for freedom?.

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