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Committee to discuss potential to consult on city centre Public Spaces Protection Order

Sheffield Town Hall lit up at dusk with road and square in foreground against a blue sky
Sheffield Town Hall

Sheffield City Council’s Communities, Parks and Leisure Committee will decide on 29th January whether to give the go ahead to consult on the introduction of a city centre Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO).

If the committee gives the go ahead, it will also be asked to approve the draft PSPO which would form part of the consultation.

A Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) provides additional powers for enforcement agencies to deal with a particular nuisance or problem in a specific area that is detrimental to the local community’s quality of life, by imposing conditions on the use of that area which apply to everyone. They are intended to help ensure that the people can use and enjoy public spaces, safe from anti-social behaviour.

The Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 provides police and local authorities with a number of enforcement tools and powers to address anti-social behaviour and these powers are used, where appropriate, but are limited to tackling the behaviour of identified individuals, businesses, or organisations. 

What does the draft PSPO cover?

The draft city centre PSPO covers drinking alcohol on the streets, begging, loitering and drug use and the committee report outlines the current situation in the city centre, explaining the thinking behind the possibility of introducing a PSPO.

Behaviours from a group or individual must meet the following legal ‘test’ for intervention from enforcement agencies within a PSPO area:

  • have, or be likely to have, a detrimental effect on the quality of life of those in the locality;
  • is, or is likely to be, persistent or continuing in nature;
  • is, or is likely to be, unreasonable; and
  • justifies the restrictions imposed.
What would the restrictions be?

The restrictions for a PSPO can either apply to everyone at all times, or target specific behaviours at certain times, for example, alcohol is not to be drunk in a particular location between specific times. Wherever a PSPO is in place, special care must be made to ensure a PSPO doesn’t disproportionately affect vulnerable members of the community and they should not be used to target a specific group or individual.

Before bringing in a PSPO the local authority must consult with a range of stakeholders, including the Police, the Police Crime Commissioner, community representatives, owners, and occupiers of land in the restricted area, and other people who may be affected by the order.

Councillor Richard Williams, Chair of Communities, Parks and Leisure Committee at Sheffield City Council, said: “On the 29th January the committee will be asked to consider whether anti-social behaviour in the city should be, or needs to be, approached with the additional powers of a city centre PSPO. If the committee gives the go-ahead to consult on this, we would be required to engage with a range of stakeholders on the draft PSPO in line with Government guidance.”

The committee report is at and can be watched live on committee day at: Agenda for Communities, Parks and Leisure Policy Committee on Monday 29 January 2024, 2.00 pm | Sheffield City Council