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Public consultation on a city centre PSPO now live

Town Hall and Peace Gardens, fountain on, people walking through the gardens
Sheffield Town Hall and Peace Gardens

Sheffield City Council started a public consultation today about the possible introduction of a city centre Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO).

A draft PSPO will form part of the consultation and would include restrictions around drinking alcohol on the streets, begging, loitering and drug use.

Councillors gave their approval at the end of January to press forward with the consultation to get the views of the public and the city’s stakeholders, in response to a committee report that outlined the evidence which suggests that a PSPO is needed to address anti-social behaviour. The draft boundaries are outlined in the survey and show what areas a potential PSPO would cover if it goes ahead. It includes the city centre, the inner ring road, Sheffield Railway Station, and Steel Steps.

The consultation runs from Friday 9th February to Monday 25th March, and everyone is invited to have their say at:

Those who would like to complete the survey offline can contact for a copy and instructions on how to return it. Copies of the survey will also be in public libraries and in the Moor Market.

Councillor Richard Williams, Chair of Communities, Parks and Leisure Committee at Sheffield City Council, said: “This stage of the process is about asking people what they think, whether they think we need a PSPO in the city or whether we don’t. They can tell us what parts of the PSPO they like or don’t like, and they can make suggestions about what the Council should do to make sure we get this right for Sheffield. That’s the most important thing here, that we listen, take feedback and we make the right decision based on the consultation results. We hope that people take the time to have their say on this so that we get a broad range of views and suggestions.”

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 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. A PSPO is largely aimed at tackling behaviours from a group or an individual and 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.

The restrictions for a PSPO can either apply to everyone at all times, or target specific behaviours at certain 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.

For more background on this project, the committee report is here:  PSPO Committee Report