Busybodies’ Charter Update: The 20 worst new PSPOs

Public Spaces Protection Orders (PSPOs) – introduced in October 2014 under the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act – allow councils to ban any activity they believe to have a ‘detrimental effect’ on the ‘quality of life’. A Manifesto Club FOI survey published in February 2016 showed that 130 PSPOs had been issued by 79 local authorities – including 9 bans on swearing, three bans on rough sleeping, and 12 bans on loitering or standing in groups. Since then, the rate of new PSPOs has further increased, leading to increasingly bizarre new criminal offences. Here is our selection of the 20 worst new PSPOs,…

PSPO news: Bans on skateboarding, loitering, remote control cars, pigeon feeding

Councils have brought in a series of PSPOs since our March briefing. Some of these orders target activities that are already crimes – such as urinating and defecating in public – which is likely to be an issue of being able to punish with spot-fines rather than court. Others include specific activities – remote control cars, skateboarding – regardless of whether these are causing a problem. And then there are new vague pseudo-crimes – ‘loitering…so as to cause ASB': what does that mean? – or causing harrassment, alarm and distress. It is trouble enough when such vague terms are brought before the…

How have councils used PSPO powers?

The Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act went live on 20 October. This included ‘public spaces protection orders’, which allow councils to ban any activity which they judge to have a ‘detrimental effect’ on the ‘quality of life’ of an area. A Manifesto Club report found that powers would be used to ban rough sleeping, ball games and ‘inappropriate dress’. Here is a three-month review of how councils are using these powers… Kettering Borough Council is consulting on a public spaces protection order in the town centre, which would regulate the following activities: street drinking, skateboarding, charity collectors, anti-social driving and parking,…

ASB dispersal powers: The crime of being found in a public place

One of the new powers in the wide-ranging Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act (which came into force on 20 October) is the power to disperse groups or individuals. These new dispersal powers are more draconian than the old dispersal powers (available section 27 of the Violent Crime Reduction Act 2006 and section 30 of the Anti-social Behaviour Act 2003), in the following ways: – Areas do not have to be designated a dispersal zone in advance; a police inspector can on-the-spot designate any area a dispersal zone; – The new powers allow for the confiscation of property; – The new powers…

Defending freedom for football supporters

On 30 October, the Manifesto Club partnered the FSF and the Battle of Ideas to host a meeting about the regulation of football fans. Here is a post by Peter Lloyd, author of the Manifesto Club’s report ‘Criminalising Football Fans – The case Against ‘Bubble Matches’, summarising some conclusions from the meeting. In the wake of the 30 October debate, we should seek: A recognition that football is overwhelmingly a force for good with generally well behaved fans, and with grounds and surrounding areas extremely safe compared to other urban environments; A change from seeing all football fans primarily as a problem…

How will councils use the ASB Act?

The Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act went live on 20 October. A Manifesto Club report last month found that powers will be used to ban rough sleeping, ball games and ‘inappropriate dress’. Here is the latest news on how councils and police are planning to use the new powers: Poole Council has obtained an order prohibiting street drinking and begging. Norwich City Council to ban skateboarding and rollerskating in parts of the city centre. Colchester Council plans to ban ‘boy racers’ from gathering in a retail park after 6pm. Stoke on Trent Council is planning a similar measure. Bath City Council…