Shrewsbury town centre Public Spaces Protection Order: continuation agreed by Cabinet today
Shropshire Council’s Cabinet today (Wednesday 25 July 2018) agreed the continuation of the Public Spaces Protection Order currently in force for Shrewsbury town centre.
The introduction of the Order (in August 2017 was intended to help improve the commercial nature of the town, including the evening and night time economy and visitor experience, whilst ensuring that Shrewsbury’s town centre public spaces are enjoyed by the majority and not spoiled by the actions of the minority. This remains at the heart of the purpose of the Order.
The Order implemented four prohibitions relating to anti-social behaviours in a public space, specifically: urinating/defecating; leaving personal belongings; consumption of alcohol; and a wider enabling provision to require a person to leave an area if causing anti-social behaviour.
Joyce Barrow, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for communities, waste and regulatory services, said:-
“Tackling anti-social behaviour of this nature is difficult, and it is not surprising that the results over the previous 12 months indicate that the Order continues to be required.
“Nevertheless, the Order has been used successfully by the police and council officers to address unacceptable behaviours that have been exhibited by a broad spectrum of individuals, and currently repeat offending on a significant scale is not evident. The Order has provided an effective tool that has helped the police to modify or change the behaviour of individuals using the lowest level of enforcement interventions.
“It is encouraging that the council has not yet had to take criminal proceedings against any individuals under the Order; however, where necessary and proportionate to do so, this remains the ultimate sanction.”
Shrewsbury town centre Public Spaces Protection Order (No.1) 2017 was approved by Cabinet on 21 June 2017 and came into effect on 1 August 2017.
An identified breach of the Order is a criminal offence, and a person guilty of an offence is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level 3 (maximum £1,000). However, the legislation enables such offences to be dealt with, where appropriate, by way of Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN), which, if paid, would discharge an individual’s liability to conviction for the offence. The amount of the FPN was set by Cabinet at £75, reduced to £50 if paid within 10 days. There are no proposals to amend the financial level of the FPN.