PSPOs – Rise and Rise of the ‘Busybodies’ Charter’

Public Spaces Protection Orders (PSPOs) are unprecedently open-ended powers, which allow a single council official to ban activities in public spaces. For an official to make a PSPO, he or she need only believe that a certain activity has a ‘detrimental effect on the quality of life of those in the locality’. The phrase ‘detrimental effect on the quality of life’ is a broad and vague definition, which has no legal precedent. There is no requirement for the official to consult the public, or to have the order reviewed by democratically elected councillors. The powers were introduced in the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014, and went live in October…

CPNs: The Anarchy of Arbitrary Power

Summary This report analyses local authorities’ use of the Community Protection Notice power in the year between November 2015 and October 2016, following on from our previous report on the use of the power in its first year. Our FOI requests to all English and Welsh councils with powers to issue CPNs, found that between November 2015 and October 2016, 4376 Community Protection Notices were issued. These orders have been used to impose highly unreasonable restrictions upon individuals, such as that they must not swear, they must not have any visitors to their home, or that they may not drink alcohol in their home. Homeless people have received orders…

PSPOs: A Busybodies’ Charter

PSPOS — Blank-Cheque Powers Public Spaces Protection Orders (PSPOs) are unprecedently ‘blank cheque’ powers, which allow a single council official to ban activities in public spaces within a matter of days, after a brief consultation with the police. These measures have been presented as a decentralisation of power to local communities, but in reality central government has given certain council officers the powers to create new criminal laws, with minimal checks and balances and a very low burden of proof. Our FOI requests have found that since the enacting of PSPOs as part of the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act on 20 October 2014, 130 PSPOs have been passed in…