Anti-social behaviour Public Space Protection Order consultation
What we are consulting on
We are proposing to change and extend our anti-social behaviour Public Space Protection Order (ASB PSPO).
PSPOs are made under the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014. The current ASB PSPO came into force on 12 June 2017 after a public consultation process.
What we are proposing
The proposals are relatively simple, and are as follows:-
The requirement to surrender alcohol if requested to do so because an enforcement officer such as a Council Street Warden or Police Officer believes that the consumption of alcohol in that public space is already causing (or is likely to cause) nuisance or annoyance to a member of the public
This already applies across the whole borough. We are proposing that it is retained but that the definition is broadened to include "nuisance, or annoyance, or alarm, or distress or harassment". This aligns more closely with the Police enforced Designated Public Place Orders that were replaced by the new PSPO regime in 2017. This is also the terminology used by the Police within Dispersal Orders made under Part 3 of the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014.
The prohibition on aggressive begging
This already applies across the whole borough. We are proposing that it is retained but that the definition is amended so it clearly only relates to aggressive begging and not passive begging. This is because some members of the public find aggressive begging very intimidating compared with passive begging, and the current ASB PSPO is a little ambiguous on this.
The prohibition on general anti-social behaviour (ASB)
This currently applies within a quite large specified area of the borough covering much of Central St Leonards, the town centre, the Old Town, and much of the seafront including the pier. It prohibits shouting, swearing, screaming, or acting in a manner causing annoyance, harassment, alarm, or distress to any person.
We are proposing to extend this clause to the whole borough to address displacement issues experienced since the ASB PSPO came into force in 2017, and to make it a more flexible enforcement power to deal with serious ASB wherever it arises in the borough.
We are also proposing that the definition used in this prohibition is amended to include "nuisance, or annoyance, or alarm, or distress or harassment" to be consistent with the other prohibitions in the PSPO.
The prohibition on consuming alcohol in specified public spaces
This currently applies within 4 relatively small specified areas of the borough within Central St Leonards, the town centre, and the Old Town. It prohibits the consumption of alcohol in these specified public spaces unless it is purchased from a licensed premises and consumed at the licensed premises.
This prohibition was primarily introduced to deal with ASB associated with street drinkers. It has resulted in some displacement of this ASB causing nuisance, annoyance, alarm, distress and harassment to residents, businesses and visitors to these areas. We are therefore proposing to expand the alcohol prohibition to cover a wider area to address the displacement.
The prohibition on overnight sleeping in vehicles
This currently only applies to Cinque Ports Way as there was a lot of serious ASB associated with people sleeping in vehicles such as cars, vans and caravans in this area in 2015 and 2016.
Since the ASB PSPO came into force in 2017 ASB associated with people sleeping in vehicles and temporary structures such as tents in other areas of the borough has increased. Examples include caravans in Sea Road and more recently also Napier Road, and tents in many of the council's public parks and open spaces and the beach/seafront and some churchyards.
We are therefore proposing to extend the prohibition on sleeping overnight in vehicles to cover the other areas where this has become a problem, and to also clarify the definition to include all types of vehicle including caravans, and also temporary structures such as tents.
The prohibition on psychoactive substances
This currently applies within a quite large specified area of the borough covering much of Central St Leonards, the town centre, the Old Town, and much of the seafront including the pier.
However, there have been changes to the law outlawing so called 'legal highs', so this prohibition is no longer necessary, and we are therefore proposing to delete it.
Proposed ASB PSPO
The new Anti-social Behaviour Public Space Protection Order in its entirety can be accessed using the link below -
Why we are consulting
By law the council must consult before varying and/or extending a PSPO. Therefore from Monday 15 April to Friday 10 May inclusive we are consulting with all statutory consultees such as the Police, as well as the general public and other interested parties.
The current proposals for varying the ASB PSPO result from an analysis of complaints from residents, businesses and visitors to the town received since the ASB PSPO came into force, and feedback from services and organisations such as:-
- The council's Street Warden and Park Ranger services
- St Leonards Town Team
- The Hastings & St Leonards Business Crime Reduction Partnership
- Local ward councillors
- Operational managers from the Safer Hastings Partnership
- The Hastings Street Community Partnership
- The local police.
If the council follows the appropriate statutory provisions and consultation processes, the PSPO can be varied and extended by up to 3 years.
How you can have your say
To have your say on these proposals please send feedback to email@example.com.
Alternatively you can send your feedback via post to:
Hastings Borough Council,
Muriel Matters House,
Hard copies of the consultation documents can be accessed at the Council's Contact Centre and the Tourist Information Centre. At both of these centres there are the IT facilities and support necessary for the submission of views to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Deadline for comments
The deadline for feedback is 4pm on Friday 10 May 2019.
What happens next?
Feedback will then be reviewed and reported to the council's cabinet for discussion and final decision on the proposals.