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.
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:
Are, have been, or intend to consume alcohol in any Public Place in the restricted area and
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.
What is Purple Flag?
Purple Flag is an accreditation scheme that recognises excellence in the management of town and city centres between 5pm and 6am. Collaborative working is the key to the achievement of receiving the Purple Flag accreditation, which has ensured Bath’s success since 2010.
Bath was one of the first Cities in the UK to receive this accreditation, and it can also claim the accolade for being one of the first cities in the UK to have a marshalled taxi rank .
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
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
firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: 01225 354650 Fax: 01225 407711
55 New King Street Bath BA1 2BN
Other organisations that can help
FRANK 080 0776 600
Alcoholic's Anonymous 084 5769 7555
National Alcohol Helpline (Drinkline) 080 0917 8282