PSPO 2023 - 2026 Enforcement Information and Guidance
What is a Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO)?
The Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 allows local authorities to introduce PSPOs to tackle specific nuisance behaviour which impacts on a community’s quality of life. A PSPO requires people in public spaces not to carry out certain activities and may place requirements on them in order to comply with the Order.
Arun’s PSPO came into effect on 1 April 2023 and will be in place for a period of 3 years unless extended, varied, or discharged by the council.
What restrictions are contained in Arun’s PSPO?
Effectively, there is a control on the consumption of alcohol* in public within the restricted areas. This means that the Police and officers authorised by the council can instruct people to stop drinking and may confiscate and dispose of alcohol. It is not an offence to drink alcohol but is if you fail to comply with a request to cease drinking or surrender alcohol.
Additionally, there is a requirement for all users of the designated public areas to not behave in an anti-social manner.
*Licensed premises and those covered by a temporary event licence are exempt from the alcohol control restriction of a PSPO.
Which areas are restricted by the PSPO?
Principally, the restricted areas apply to Littlehampton and Bognor Regis and their surrounding communities and villages.
How will I know if I am in a restricted area?
Maps of the restricted areas can be viewed on the council’s website – www.arun.gov.uk/pspo
Signage will be displayed at prominent locations throughout the designated areas to inform people that a PSPO is in force.
Does the PSPO affect me?
Yes. The conditions of a PSPO apply to everyone who uses any public spaces within the restricted zones. Anyone who, without reasonable excuse, fails to comply with the Order or to a requirement given to them by an authorised officer commits an offence.
What action can be taken for breaches?
A breach of the PSPO may result in the following penalties:-
- a) Fixed Penalty Notice of up to £100; or
- b) Issued with a Court summons where, upon conviction, the following fines may be incurred:-
- Breach of alcohol restriction up to £500
- Breach of other requirements up to £1,000
- c) In many cases, it may be considered sufficient for an officer to issue a warning.
The actions that may be taken are described in more detail in the ‘How is the PSPO enforced’ section of this leaflet.
Who can enforce the PSPO?
- Authorised Council officers;
- Sussex Police officers;
- Sussex Police Community Support Officers;
- Other groups designated to do so by the council.
Council officers and other designated agents (not Police or PCSOs) must, if asked, provide proof of their designated power to enforce the PSPO.
How is the PSPO enforced?
Anyone drinking alcohol where their behaviour is, in the officer’s view, causing or likely to cause a nuisance to others as a result of alcohol consumption may be directed to stop drinking and/or hand over their alcohol.
Anyone behaving in a manner which causes, or is likely to cause, nuisance, harassment, alarm or distress to other users of the public space they are in.
The following steps will be considered by enforcement officers when they witness the behaviour:
- Engagement – the officer will speak with the individual and determine the extent of the nuisance being caused by their behaviour and the reasons for it.
- Requirement to comply – if the individual is behaving anti-socially or drinking alcohol (as above) the officer will instruct them to immediately stop doing so. Requirements could include:-
- To stop behaving anti-socially;
- To stop drinking alcohol;
- To hand over alcohol;
- To leave the restricted area.
- Verbal warning – if the person complies with the request of the officer, it is likely that they will be issued with a verbal warning about their future behaviour and reminded of the PSPO conditions.
- Written warning – officers may consider it appropriate to issue a written warning if the breach is minor. This will be retained on file for future reference.
- Fixed Penalty Notice – may be issued requiring payment of a fixed sum for more serious breaches or where an individual has received previous warnings but failed to change their behaviour.
- Court summons – this action is reserved for the most serious breaches and where an individual fails to make payment of an FPN.
Where can I get more advice?
Both Community Safety and Anti-Social Behaviour Caseworkers will be happy to discuss this with you. If they cannot give you the specific advice you need themselves, they will put you in touch with a colleague who can.
Further information and a copy of the sealed Order can be accessed on the council’s website at www.arun.gov.uk/pspo.
Useful contact details
Telephone: 0808 141 2800
Telephone: 01903 737834
Post: Community Safety Team
Arun District Council
Contact Centre (general enquiries)
Telephone: 01903 737500
999 if a serious offence or crime is in progress
101 non-emergency incidents where the crime has already happened and there is no immediate risk of harm
Report online www.sussex.police.uk