Herefordshire Council is considering imposing a Public Spaces Protection Order in an attempt to stop anti-social behaviour in a Hereford car park.

The council recently held a public consultation, with anti-social behaviour a regular problem at the Garrick Multi Storey Car Park in the city centre.

Provision for a Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) was created by the 2014 Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act to deal with any nuisances or problems in a particular area that affects the local community’s quality of life. PSPOs impose conditions or restrictions on people using that area.

Councils are responsible for making PSPOs and can do so on any public space. Before making a PSPO, the council must be satisfied on ‘reasonable grounds’ that the behaviour to be restricted:

  • Is having or is 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

From Herefordshire Council:

There has been a high volume of anti-social behaviour complaints in the Garrick Multi Storey Car Park, Hereford. We believe that the nuisance is specific in nature and focused on this particular area and has given rise to concerns for those who use the car park on a daily basis and their property. Despite continued efforts by partner agencies, the nuisance continues and shows no signs of stopping without legal intervention.

The Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 allows for the making of a Public Spaces Protection Order in cases where the local authority feels that such action is justified to stop anti-social behaviour.

A Public Spaces Protection Order will not stop the lawful use of the car park and people who wish to park there will be able to continue to do so under the current terms of use. The Order will allow us to consider arrest, prosecution and fixed penalty notices for anyone who is in breach of the prohibitions contained within the Order.

In proposing to make a Public Spaces Protection Order, Herefordshire Council are satisfied that the behaviours exhibited by some individuals in the car park are having or have had a detrimental effect on the quality of life of those in the locality, is persistent in nature and the behaviours reported by members of the public justify the restrictions imposed.

The criminal offence of failing to comply with an officer’s request within the restricted area of the PSPO can be dealt with by issuing a fixed penalty notice or a summons to court.

The penalties for this offence are as follows:

Liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding £1000, level 3 on the standard scale or a Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN) of £100 can be issued, reduced to £50 if paid within 10 working days. Failure to pay may lead to prosecution.