The order makes it an offence to drink alcohol after being requested by an authorised officer not to do so. Authorised council officers and police constables can request individuals to stop drinking and surrender any alcohol in their possession including any opened or sealed containers. If they fail to comply with the request, they commit a criminal offence. They are not alcohol exclusion zones.
This does not prevent members of the public drinking responsibly for example, as part of a picnic or with friends. It is aimed at those who are causing a nuisance which may prevent the enjoyment of the public spaces by others.
Failure to comply with the request of an authorised officer can result in a Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN) or a fine of up to £500 on conviction. The Fixed Penalty Notice amount is set at £100.
The PSPO is in place for up to three years from its date of issue 8 November 2021 until the 7 November 2024. The council’s community safety team will monitor the effectiveness of the alcohol related PSPO and review this prior to the order expiring, taking into consideration evidence, data and views of the community to assess whether the PSPO is still necessary.
- What is a PSPO?
Public Spaces Protection Orders (PSPOs), introduced in 2014, sit amongst a broad range of powers and tools to help tackle antisocial behaviour locally. PSPOs are aimed at ensuring public spaces can be enjoyed free from antisocial behaviour. They are not about stopping the responsible use of the night-time economy or preventing young people from seeing their friends but they do provide councils with another tool to help deal with persistent issues that are damaging their communities (Local Government Association 2018).
- Is this new legislation?
The Criminal Justice and Police Act 2001 gave local authorities the power to designate places within their area where restrictions on public drinking apply. These powers were introduced to help the police and councils deal with the problems of antisocial drinking in public spaces. The orders were called Designated Public Place Orders (DPPOs).
In October 2017, all Designated Public Place Orders still in existence were converted to Public Space Protection Orders (PSPOs) with the same conditions under the Antisocial Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014.
In Basingstoke there were alcohol related PSPOs in various locations of the borough, including Basingstoke town centre and some of the surrounding parks and open spaces. These orders expired in October 2020.
The aim of the PSPO is to ensure our public spaces are safe, improving the quality of life for residents and visitors.
- Does Basingstoke and Deane already have any PSPOs?
Yes. There is a borough wide PSPO to tackle dog fouling.
Until October 2020 there were several alcohol related PSPOs covering various locations of the borough. These orders expired in October 2020. In most of the areas where previous alcohol related PSPOs were in place there was limited evidence to suggest that new alcohol related PSPO would be required.
- What are the concerns and issue with street drinking/drinking in public spaces?
Street drinking is sometimes associated with antisocial behaviour and often results in rowdy and nuisance behaviour, harassment and intimidation of passers-by, as well as the littering of cans and bottles and urination in public spaces. This has a detrimental effect on the quality of life of local communities.
- Why is this PSPO required?
Evidence available to us suggests that alcohol related antisocial behaviour has a detrimental impact on the local community, including residents, businesses and visitors in this location.
Since 2017 (when the previous alcohol related PSPO started) until July 2020 there were 778 alcohol related offences recorded by the police across the relevant ward area including the town centre. Just over half of these incidents related to the night-time economy. There were 1077 incidents of antisocial behaviour reported to the police during the same period. 74% of incidents were during the daytime and 41% of these were alcohol related. This was significantly more than other areas of the borough. During these date ranges Community Safety Patrol Officers enforced the previous alcohol related PSPO on 110 occasions.
This is supported by complaints in relation to alcohol related antisocial behaviour from businesses. Feedback from patrol-based officers demonstrates that utilising the PSPO is an effective tool for tackling alcohol related antisocial behaviour.
As part of the consultation period and prior to the implementation of the PSPO, recent evidence was considered, and a consultation took place to ensure that the order is necessary, reasonable and proportionate.
- What areas in the borough will be covered by this PSPO?
The PSPO covers the town centre and some of the surrounding parks and open spaces where evidence suggests that alcohol related antisocial behaviour is having a detrimental impact on the local community. The PSPO map shows the specific locations covered by the order.
- Have any other areas been considered for an alcohol-related PSPO?
Yes. As part of our review process we considered evidence of alcohol related antisocial behaviour in all of the borough’s former alcohol related PSPOs which expired in October 2020. This was to establish whether new PSPOs would be a necessary and proportionate tool for tackling alcohol related antisocial behaviour across the borough.
From our analysis the only areas of the borough where it is deemed necessary for an alcohol related PSPO is in Basingstoke town centre including nearby parks and open spaces.
PSPOs can be a useful tool for tackling a range of different types of behaviours which are having a detrimental and persistent impact on the local community. The council, working with our partners will consider a range of solutions to tackling antisocial behaviour.
- How long are the PSPOs in place for?
This PSPO will be in place for up to three years, until 7 November 2024. The council will review this prior to the proposed order expiring, taking into consideration evidence, data and views of the community to assess whether the PSPO is still necessary.
- Does the PSPO ban drinking alcohol in public spaces?
It will NOT be an offence to consume alcohol within the PSPO area, however authorised officers and police constables can require a person to stop consuming what they believe to be alcohol and require that person to surrender any alcohol or container they believe contains alcohol. The person must be informed that failure to comply with the officer’s requirement is an offence. A constable or authorised person may dispose of the open or sealed containers in whatever way they think appropriate.
- Can I be stopped or arrested for carrying alcohol in public spaces?
A PSPO does not make it illegal to carry alcohol or to drink alcohol in a public place as long as drinking is done responsibly. The PSPO will only be used to tackle alcohol related antisocial behaviour or disorder. Under these circumstances authorised officers and police officers will have the power to demand individuals stop drinking alcohol and seize or confiscate alcohol within the controlled area. Failure to comply with requests is an offence.
- How would the PSPO be enforced?
A Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN) is set at £100 for failing to comply with an officer's request to stop drinking or hand over any alcohol they have in their possession. This would be reduced to £75 if paid within 10 days.
Payment of the Fixed Penalty Notice discharges liability to conviction for the offence.
The council will work in partnership with the police to ensure the effective, necessary and proportionate enforcement of the PSPO.
If the person breaching the PSPO fails to comply with the requirements of the order, they may be issued with a £100 Fixed Penalty Notice and taken to court if the fine is not paid within the specified timeframe. A person guilty of an offence is liable on summary conviction to a fine up to £500
The PSPO will be enforced by authorised council officers and police officers.
Each situation or incident is different and officers will use discretion to determine the best course of action for each incident they deal with. Sometimes officers will use Warning Notices (for antisocial behaviour) as a way of effectively dealing with antisocial behaviour.
- How will the PSPO be advertised?
There will be signage in place at strategic locations within the area to advise of the order. It will also be publicised on our website.
- Are people still able to drink or hold alcohol bottles outside pubs?
Yes. The PSPO does not make it illegal to drink alcohol in a public place. However, if a person was to drink beyond the legal boundary of licensed premises and they do not stop drinking if asked to do so by an authorised officer or police officer, then further enforcement action may be considered.
- What about street parties and events in parks?
The PSPO does not make it illegal to carry alcohol or to drink alcohol in a public place as long as drinking is done responsibly. The PSPO will only be used to tackle alcohol related antisocial behaviour or disorder. Under these circumstances authorised council officers and police officers will have the power to stop people drinking alcohol and seize or confiscate alcohol within the controlled area.
Individual events subject to Temporary Events Notices may have their own restrictions on the consumption of alcohol.
If you require further information or have any questions about community safety matters you can contact us by email or phone using the details below or by writing to us at: Community Safety Team, Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council, London Road, Basingstoke, Hampshire, RG21 4AH.