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Council to seek views on Public Space Protection Orders

Waltham Forest Council is to launch a consultation with residents and businesses on the introduction of Public Space Protection Orders (PSPOs) in Leytonstone, Leyton and Walthamstow to crack down on anti-social behaviour.

PSPOs can be used to tackle issues such as street drinking, drug taking, aggressive begging, use of threatening and insulting language or behaviour and street prostitution. Introducing PSPO powers will enable Council officers to enforce any declared restrictions and they can issue fixed penalty notices, alongside the increasingly overstretched police officers and their community support officers.

Breaching a PSPO restriction is a criminal offence and can result in the issue of a £100 fixed penalty notice, or a fine of up to £1,000 if it goes to prosecution.

The two proposed PSPOs would cover Leytonstone and Leyton and Walthamstow and the surrounding area, and have been developed in consultation with the borough police, in response to particular concerns raised by residents.     

Cllr Clyde Loakes, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Environment said: “We want people to be able to enjoy and utilise our town centres day and night without feeling intimidated and threatened by anti-social behaviour. Whether using our town centres and shopping areas for leisure, shopping or as part of your daily journey to work and home again, the introduction of Public Space Protection Orders would allow us to give greater protection to our residents and deter people from engaging in anti-social behaviour on our streets. I am pleased that the Police Borough Commander is supportive of our plans for these extra and very specifically targeted powers.

“Obviously we are keen to hear from local residents and businesses on our proposals, so I encourage everyone to take part in the consultation so we can consider all views before making a final decision. Can I be absolutely clear these powers are about targeting those who intimidate and threaten our fellow local residents going about their daily routines, and simply give Council Officers the same powers as the overstretched and over worked local police officers.”

The 28-day consultation will run from Monday 27 March to Sunday 23 April. It will be available to complete online via the Council website.

Alcohol Restriction Zones (ARZ) were introduced in 2008 to tackle street drinking and associated anti-social behaviour but are a Police only power. In October 2014 the Government introduced the Anti-Social Behaviour Crime and Policing Act giving local authorities the power to create Public Space Protection Orders (PSPOs) as a tool to manage a broader range of anti-social behaviours impacting on the quality of life of its residents.

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