Begging to be banned
NEW RULES TO TACKLE ANTI-SOCIAL BEHAVIOUR COULD BE INTROUDUCED BY COUNCIL
URINATING, being under the influence of drugs, begging and leaving your car running in Hillingdon could be banned in public as the council plans to toughen up anti-social behaviour rules.
Public Spaces Protection Orders (PSPO) already forbid a wide range of anti-social behaviour but Hillingdon Council will be extending them from mid April to include other “nuisance behaviour”.
The orders were introduced by the government in 2014 and they identify specific public places and criminalise certain behaviours in those areas.
The council’s cabinet member for community, commerce and regeneration, Councillor Douglas Mills , said: “Everyone has the right to live in a safe place and peaceful environment. PSPOs are designed to ensure the law-abiding majority can use and enjoy public spaces, safe from anti-social behaviour.
“By broadening the scope of the PSPO, we will have greater powers to address a wider range of antisocial activities that are detrimental to the local community’s quality of life.”
Under current rules, PSPOs cover street drinking, spitting, dog fouling, camping, lighting fires, driving vehicles off-road and leaving food out for animals, amongst other things.
Now the council wants to extend these powers to cover verbal abuse, intimidation, being under the influence of drugs, begging, soliciting money, lighting fireworks, relieving yourself in public, and leaving parked cars with the engine running.
PSPOs have been seen as controversial by campaign group Liberty, which believes the powers are used against “the most vulner- able in our society, the homeless”.
Liberty, a civil liberties and human rights campaign group, also said PSPOs have been used to limit freedom of speech and the right to protest.
Hillingdon Council is seeking the opinions of residents before the changes come into force in the middle of April. You can submit your comments to the consultation at www.hillingdon.gov.uk
The new Public Space Protection Orders will be extended from mid-April and are likely to cover idling car engines, begging and being under the influence of drugs