Public Spaces Protection Orders in the City of Bath and Midsomer Norton town centre

What is a PSPO?

The Antisocial Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 enables the Council to create Public Spaces Protection Orders, sometimes referred to as PSPOs. They are designed to control activities in public places which have a detrimental effect on the quality of life of those in the locality. Following public consultation showing strong support for their introduction, on 20 October 2017 Bath and North East Somerset Council introduced two Public Spaces Protection Orders (PSPOs)  to restrict street drinking in the City of Bath and Midsomer Norton town centre (not activated).

What do the PSPOs do?

These PSPOs prohibit people from having alcohol  “in their possession, care or control in any public place within the restricted area” where they:

  1. Are, have been, or intend to consume alcohol in any Public Place in the restricted area  and

  2. Are behaving in a way that is, or it likely to cause, harassment, alarm, distress, crime or disorder.

The PSPO  requires people not to consume alcohol or anything which the Authorised Officer reasonably believes to be alcohol, in breach of the Prohibition above. People must  surrender to an Authorised Officer on request anything in their possession which is (or which the Authorised Officer reasonably believes to be) alcohol or a container for alcohol.

What are the consequences of not complying with the PSPOs?

Where an Authorised Officer requires someone to comply  with the above and they fail to do so without reasonable excuse, then a criminal offence has been committed which is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding £500.  An Authorised Officer may issue a fixed penalty notice  of £100 to anyone he or she has reason to believe has committed an offence  in relation to this Order.

Who is an “Authorised Officer”?

At present only Police officers and PCSOs are Authorised Officers to enforce the PSPOs.

What are the “Restricted Areas” covered by the PSPOs?

The areas covered by these restrictions are set out in the maps. In Bath, the Restricted  Area is the whole of the City. In Midsomer Norton, the Restricted Area is a specific part of the town. The full legal orders are also attached. The restrictions apply to all “public spaces” within the red lines on the maps and are defined broadly to include areas which “the public or any section of the public has access, on payment or otherwise, as of right or by virtue of express or implied permission”. This means the PSPO includes public car parks and public parks as well as other public spaces such as streets.. .

Are there exemptions?

There are a number of exemptions, and these are set out in the order. The PSPOs will not stop the consumption of alcohol in any area licensed for the sale and supply of alcohol during normal licensing hours, such as a bar within the area covered by a PSPO.

Where can I get help, information and advice?

There are a number of local services for people concerned by their own or someone else's drug and alcohol misuse, including:

Developing Health and Independence (DHI)

Is a local charity that was set up in 1999 to help people out of the cycle of homelessness, social isolation and drug or alcohol abuse.


15/16 Milsom Street,  Bath BA1 1DE

Twitter: @dhi_online

Facebook: Developing Health & Independence

DHI also runs Project 28 Young People (24 years or under) The project’s team seek to provide holistic packages of care to young people in the BANES area with problematic substance misuse support needs.

Telephone: 01225 478730

Service supporting people to access help for homelessness 

Julian House Tel: 01225 354650 Fax: 01225 407711

55 New King Street Bath BA1 2BN

Other organisations that can help

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