Notice of Public Space Protection Order extension and variation: 7 July 2022

Waltham Forest Town Hall Fountain
Published: 22 July 2022
Filed under: Neighbourhoods

A single borough-wide Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) will be extended in the London Borough of Waltham Forest on 5 September 2022 for a period of 3 years.
This decision was made following a public consultation and was approved by the Council Cabinet on 7th July 2022.

Below you will find information on:

  • The contents of the PSPO
  • The area is covers
  • Penalties for breaching the PSPO
  • Options for legally challenging the PSPO
  • How to report breaches of the PSPO

You will see a number of references to ‘authorised persons’ or ‘authorised officers’. This term means people employed by the Council (such as ASB, housing or neighbourhood officers, parking officers, etc) or people the Council have given delegated authority to, such as safety and security contractors.

PSPO Contents

The PSPO is written to tackle the following offences:

a. Failing to cease consuming alcohol or failing to surrender any unsealed containers which are reasonably believed to contain alcohol, when required to do so by an Authorised Officer in order to prevent public nuisance or disorder.
b. Begging in an aggressive or intimidating manner.
c. Being verbally abusive or behaving in a manner which is likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress.
d. Urinating, defecating or spitting in a public place.
e. No persons shall gather in groups of 2 or more whilst engaging in nuisance or criminal behaviour.
f. Parking or otherwise causing a motor vehicle to stop on zig-zag marking outside school premises during operative hours.
g. No moped/motorbike driver shall gather in groups of 3 or more or drive/ride in such a way to cause harassment, alarm, distress or annoyance to the community.

The PSPO also states any authorised person can instruct someone to leave an area if they are believed to be breaching the PSPO by:
a. consuming alcohol in the manner described in paragraph (a) above; or
b. by behaving in a manner which is likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress; or
c. Begging in an aggressive or intimidating manner.

Area Covered by the PSPO

The PSPO covers all wards across the borough.

Penalties for breaching PSPO

A constable or an authorised person may under section 68 of the 2014 ASB Crime and Policing Act issue a fixed penalty notice not exceeding £100 to anyone he or she has reason to believe has committed an offence under section 67 in relation to this Order. Failure without reasonable excuse, to comply with the prohibitions or requirements imposed by this Order is a summary offence under section 67 of the Antisocial Behaviour Crime and Policing Act 2014. A person guilty of an offence under section 67 is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level 3 on the standard scale (£1000).

Legal challenge

PSPOs can be challenged under the ASB Crime and Policing Act 2014, on the grounds that:

  • The local authority did not have the power either to make the Order or include particular prohibitions or requirements, or
  • That proper processes had not been followed as prescribed by the legislation (The ASB Crime and Policing Act 2014).

Challenges to the introduction of this new PSPO must be made to the High Court within six weeks of the Order being made (in this case by 18 August 2022) and by an individual who lives in, regularly works in or visits the restricted area. The High Court can uphold, quash or vary the PSPO and may decide to suspend the operation of the PSPO pending the verdict. As with all orders and powers, the making of a PSPO can be challenged by judicial review on public law grounds within three months of the decision or action subject to challenge.

More information can be found within these documents:

Public Notice
Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO)
Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) map

How to report a breach

If you have witnessed behaviour you believe may be a breach of the new PSPO, please report it to us.