North Somerset criminalises causing ‘annoyance’ in council carparks

North Somerset Council is planning a series of broad-ranging PSPOs, which would criminalise many otherwise innocent parts of life. Here is our response to the consultation (you can respond to pspoconsult@n-somerset.gov.uk). Specific types of property PSPO – We do not think it is necessary, reasonable or proportionate to create new offences of causing ‘annoyance’ in a library, council carpark, museum, public toilet, or council building (‘Engage in behaviour as to damage to property, nuisance and/or annoyance’). No doubt that hundreds of people create annoyance for each other in these areas every month: because they are taking too long paying for the parking ticket,…

East Devon Council to give dispersal powers to council officers

East Devon District Council is planning a PSPO banning aggressive begging, intoxicating substances, and behaviour causing harassment, alarm and distress. See the draft PSPO and consultation. See the Manifesto Club response below:   We are particularly concerned about the following elements of this proposed PSPO: – A ban on ‘aggressive requests for money within a street or public open space': What is meant by ‘aggressive requests for money’? A truly aggressive request for money isn’t begging – it is mugging. That is theft, and already an established criminal offence. Those who are begging are not mugging or threatening people to hand over their money:…

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…

Banned in London – Online map

You are in danger of unwittingly committing an offence if you stray into one of 435 special zones in London. The boundaries of these zones are often unmarked and within them many everyday activities are either banned or restricted. A new Manifesto Club online Google map, Banned in London, reveals the 435 special zones that now cover half the area of the UK capital. In these areas, people can be fined or prosecuted for activities that would not otherwise be an offence – including leafleting, protesting, dog walking, gathering in groups, and drinking in public.   Go to the Banned in London…