Shropshire Council

Get involved

Public space protection order for Shrewsbury town centre

  • Period: 09 January 2017 - 12 March 2017
  • Status: Open
  • Audiences: Everyone
  • Topics: Community and living
  • Type: Public

Shropshire Council is consulting on a proposed Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) for an area of Shrewsbury town centre (see map attached).

We’d like to hear your views, so please complete our short online questionnaire by 12 March 2017. To access this just click on the "How to get involved" tab.

Also attached to this page is a copy of the draft PSPO on which we are consulting and below you'll find details of the proposed prohibitions and some frequently asked questions which will help explain what a PSPO is and how it can help address antisocial behaviour in our public spaces.

Prohibitions

Prohibition one

No person shall urinate or defecate in a public area not being a facility intended for such use.

Prohibition two

(please note this would not apply to licensed premises)

No person shall refuse to stop drinking alcohol or hand over any containers (sealed or unsealed) which are believed to contain alcohol, when required to do so by an authorised officer, provided that officer has reason to believe that that person is causing or is likely to cause nuisance, alarm, harassment or distress to any other person or to prevent public disorder.

Prohibition three

No person shall refuse to disperse from a public area and not to return to that public area for 48 hours when required to do so by an authorised officer, provided that officer has reason to believe that that person is causing or likely to cause nuisance, alarm, harassment or distress to any other person or to prevent public disorder.

Prohibition four

No person shall, for any duration of time, leave unattended in a public area any personal effects or belongings or any other material or paraphernalia including anything that may be considered discarded or waste material.

Frequently asked questions

What is a Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO)?

PSPOs were introduced in October 2014 by the Antisocial Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 and are designed to allow a Council to deal with a particular nuisance or problem behaviour in a particular area (a public space) that is detrimental to the local community’s quality of life, by imposing conditions on the use of that area which apply to everyone. The order will specify those behaviours or conditions that are designed to ensure the law abiding majority can use and enjoy the public space, safe from anti-social behaviour.

Why do we need a PSPO in Shrewsbury Town Centre?

It has been identified by Shropshire Council and the partners we work with that there are a number of issues that are having a persistent negative impact with people who live, work or visit Shrewsbury town centre.  These issues have been identified via multiple complaints made to the police and the Council from the public, businesses and other interested parties around the issues of public safety and from what we and our partners regularly witness.

Why is only Shrewsbury Town Centre included in the Order?

When identifying the area to include in the Order, we looked at the areas where the complaints and other information highlighted the greatest need.  However, this is part of the consultation so please let us know if we have not covered all the areas that suffer from this type of ASB.

Is there not already legislation to deal with excessive alcohol consumption in public places already?

Currently within the town centre a similar prohibition exists to that within the proposed Order with respect to stopping drinking and disposal of alcohol.  The PSPO will update and replace the previous restriction and provide the opportunity to deal with any breach by means of a Fixed Penalty Notice as opposed to taking legal proceedings through the courts.

Is urinating or defecating in the street already unlawful?

No, whilst it is undesirable there is no specific offence at this time and the police are limited to what action they may take.

How is the PSPO going to be enforced? Is there not a danger that you could be accused of picking on some of the most vulnerable people in our society?

Enforcement of the PSPO will be undertaken in the main by the police and authorised officers of Shropshire Council.  The PSPO is not intended to target any particular person – it will apply to all persons whose behaviour is considered unacceptable and is causing alarm and distress to others.  However, any matter would need to be considered carefully in line with the Councils Better Regulation and Enforcement Policy and this will be included within an enforcement memorandum agreed with the police.  In addition significant support is already available to help vulnerable individuals and this will continue irrespective of the implementation of a PSPO.

What happens if I breach the PSPO?

Where a person breaches the PSPO, an authorised officer will have a number of options open to them and will exercise discretion in how they handle any situation.  Depending on the nature of the breach the authorised officer can issue a verbal warning and require an immediate cessation of the behaviour causing the breach of the PSPO.  However, in some instances the authorised officer can also require that person to leave the area and not to return within a 48 hour period or to issue a Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN) either at the time or at a later date or to report that individual for consideration of legal proceedings.  In any case where an individual fails to pay a FPN issued by an authorised officer for a PSPO breach within the specified timescale, Shropshire Council will review the evidence obtained and where appropriate commence legal proceedings for the original breach.

What will happen to the information I provide as part of the consultation?

The data collected will be analysed to help determine whether the correct conditions are being included in the PSPO.  The data will not be shared outside this consultation but will be made available for Cabinet reports.  Names or other personal data will not be published unless permission is specifically given by the consultee.

How will the decision be made whether or not to implement the PSPO?

The survey responses will be analysed with the results and any proposed amendments reported back to local councillors at the next suitable Cabinet meeting of Shropshire Council.  A decision on whether or not to implement the PSPO will then be made.  There has already been a great deal of evidence gathered that has helped inform what the Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) will attempt to address and this consultation data will help further this review and help modify the PSPO if necessary.

Documents

Having read all the information provided, please click on the green button to access a short online questionnaire where you can share your views on the proposed prohibitions for Shrewsbury town centre.

Go to the questionnaire »

Data protection

Information collected in our surveys will only be used by us (Shropshire Council) to inform the immediate and future provision of our services. The information you provide will be kept confidential in accordance with our Privacy Policy. It will not be shared outside of Shropshire Council. Information collected via our online surveys (hosted on the Surveymonkey website) will be stored on SurveyMonkey’s servers in the United States of America and SurveyMonkey gives an undertaking never to disclose the survey questions or your responses to others without permission.