Wandsworth Public Spaces Protection Order Consultation

Closed 5 Jul 2020

Opened 18 May 2020

Overview

*THIS CONSULTATION HAS BEEN EXTENDED TO 5 JULY*

 

What are PSPOs?

Public Space Protection Orders are an element of legislation introduced by the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 to tackle anti-social behaviour in a flexible and responsive way.

A PSPO prohibits specific activities within a defined area and is intended to deal with particular nuisances or problems that are detrimental to the local community’s quality of life, and ensure that people can use and enjoy public spaces safe from anti-social behaviour.

Breaching a PSPO without a reasonable excuse is a criminal offence and on conviction, a person guilty of an offence is liable to a fine of up to £1000. However, breaches of PSPOs are more commonly dealt with through the issuing of Fixed Penalty Notices, currently set at £100 but reduced to £75 if paid within 10 days.

What's being proposed and why?

The Council proposes to either implement or extend existing PSPOs across the borough to cover the following:

  1. Anti-social behaviour caused by drinking alcohol in a public space
  2. Use and possession of Novel Psychoactive Substances in a public space
  3. Dog control in parks and open spaces
  4. Dog control on public highways and pavements

1 Anti-social behaviour caused by drinking alcohol in a public space

Alcohol related anti-social behaviour can quickly escalate and have a significant and lasting impact upon communities. Whilst most residents, visitors or people living and working in the borough drink socially and behave responsibly, their right to enjoyment of our public spaces can be threatened by those who behave in an anti-social manner.

The Council and its partners have received regular complaints regarding this type of behaviour and there are currently two active PSPOs approved for dealing with this issue as follows:

  • Battersea High Street area – expires July 2021
  • Tooting Town Centre area – expires October 2020

It is now proposed to seek to replace the two existing PSPOs with a single borough-wide PSPO that deals proactively with anti-social behaviour and nuisance caused by drinking alcohol in public spaces (including street drinking) across the whole borough.

Please note: The proposed PSPO would not prohibit responsible drinking in public spaces, only problematic drinking causing a nuisance to others.

2 Use of Novel Psychoactive Substances in a public space

Novel Psychoactive Substances (NPS) have become commonly known as ‘legal highs’, and they contain one or more chemical substances which produce similar effects to illegal drugs, for example Nitrous Oxide, better known as ‘laughing gas’.

In May 2016, the Psychoactive Substances Act became law, however the Act does not make it an offence to be in possession of or to misuse NPS, unless a PSPO is in place to stop such activity.

The misuse of NPS in the UK is growing and more people are purchasing these drugs online than ever before, with associated negative effects on the physical and mental health of users. The Council is proposing to implement a single borough-wide PSPO that deals proactively with the taking of NPS in public spaces across the whole borough.

3 Dog Control in parks and open spaces

In September 2009, Dog Control Orders were implemented for all parks and open spaces across the borough. The introduction of the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 automatically turned Dog Control Orders into Dog Control PSPOs and these are due to expire on 18 October 2020.

The PSPOs that are currently in place consist of the following aspects of dog control:

  • Fouling of land by dogs – an offence is committed when the person in charge of a dog fails to remove faeces deposited by the dog
  • Areas where dogs are required to be on leads – an offence is committed when the person in charge of a dog fails to keep the dog on a lead (for example car parks and café outdoor seating areas)
  • The requirement for a dog to be put on a lead at the direction of an authorised officer – an offence is committed when the person in charge of a dog fails to put and keep the dog on a lead when instructed to do so by an authorised officer
  • The exclusion of dogs from specified areas – an offence is committed when the person in charge of a dog takes it onto or permits it to enter or remain in an area where dogs are excluded (for example formal / fenced playgrounds and lakes and ponds)
  • The maximum number of dogs that an individual may take onto specified areas – an offence is committed when the person takes more dogs into an area than is permitted

Each park and open space in the borough is different and as such, a combination of the above PSPOs are currently used depending on the size and nature of each space. A review of each open space has been carried out to consider any changes that may be necessary since the orders were first implemented in 2009.

For the purposes of Dog Control PSPOs for parks and open spaces, sites also include Leisure Centre outdoor spaces and the Town Hall car park and gardens - please see full list of open spaces here.

Please note: If the proposed Dog Control PSPO on maximum number of dogs is approved, there will be a review of the current licensing scheme for a limited number of multiple dog walkers (professional and owners), who wish to walk more than four dogs.

4 Dog Control on public highways and pavements

The PSPOs that are currently in place for the walking of dogs on-street apply borough-wide and include: all public highways and associated gutters, public footpaths and pavements, tree bases, grass verges and grass amenity areas adjacent to highways. As part of the review of Dog Control PSPOs, it is proposed that the Riverside Walk (excluding where it passes through Wandsworth Park and Battersea Park) should be subject to the same PSPOs as other on-street areas.

For these areas, the following Orders would apply:

  • Fouling of land by dogs – an offence is committed when the person in charge of a dog fails to remove faeces deposited by the dog
  • Areas where dogs are required to be on leads – an offence is committed when the person in charge of a dog fails to keep the dog on a lead
  • The maximum number of dogs that an individual may take onto specified areas – an offence is committed when the person takes more dogs into an area than is permitted

Please note: Dog Control PSPOs will not apply to Council Housing land, as separate Dog Byelaws are in place.

Why are we consulting?

Councils are required to consider the potential impact of any proposed PSPOs and to undertake consultation before an Order can be made.

The Equality Impact Needs Assessment (EINA) here explains any potential impacts the proposed PSPOs would have on groups with protected characteristics.

We would like to hear the views of residents and businesses in the borough so we can take all views into account before making any decisions.

We will also consult with the following organisations about the proposed PSPOS: 

  • Metropolitan Police Service
  • Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime
  • Transport for London
  • Local Landlords and Resident Associations
  • Chamber of Commerce, Business Improvement District members
  • Wandsworth Business Action on Crime
  • Neighbourhood Watch Groups

With regards to the Dog Control PSPOs for parks and open spaces, the following organisations will also be consulted:

  • Enable Leisure & Culture (who manage Wandsworth Parks)
  • Parks Friends Groups and Management Advisory Committees
  • Local community groups and societies 

Have your say

We would like to hear your views on any aspect of the proposed PSPOs.

Please read the EINA and the proposed Orders before giving us your views using the online survey below.

If you need the questionnaire in paper or any other format, please contact us at communitysafety@richmondandwandsworth.gov.uk

What happens next? 

All responses to the consultation will be analysed and carefully considered before being reported to the Council’s relevant Overview and Scrutiny Committees and the General Purposes Committee later in the year.

If implemented, the PSPOs would be introduced for three years and reviewed on a regular basis.

Areas

  • All Areas

Audiences

  • Open to all

Interests

  • Wandsworth Borough