Councils backtrack on criminalising homeless

In the wake of the government’s new statutory guidance (which stated that PSPOs should not be used to target the homeless), several councils have abandoned plans to fine people for rough sleeping.

Many of these councils were also responding to opposition from members of the public, and lively debates within council chambers.

Tunbridge Wells decided against fining people for sleeping in shop doorways.

Dacorum Council has backtracked on plans to fine people for rough sleeping in Hemel Hempstead, after considering the new Home Office guidance.

Windsor Council u-turned on plans to ban homeless people in the run-up to the royal wedding, after a public outcry.

Poole Council has removed a prohibition on rough sleeping, in light of Home Office guidance, and is facing continuing opposition over other remaining elements of its planned PSPO.

Milton Keynes Council decided against introducing a PSPO restricting begging, and has launched a new homeless policy instead.