Sandwell Council proposes renewal of West Bromwich Public Space Protection Order
Published 12th October 2021
Sandwell Council’s cabinet will decide on Wednesday 20 October on a proposal to renew the West Bromwich Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO).
For three years West Bromwich town centre has been covered by a PSPO to reduce anti-social behaviour and make the town and a more pleasant place to live, work and shop.
By law, PSPOs last for at most three years, before needing to be reviewed to see what changes might be required. A public consultation and a review of the first 3 years has shown ongoing support for continuing with a new PSPO as part of a suite of measures to tackle anti-social behaviour within the town centre.
The public consultation undertaken between May 10 and July 16 2021 showed that the areas covered by the PSPO remain significant concerns for local residents and businesses, with 87% supporting the continuation of the PSPO.
PSPOs, used effectively, can help increase public confidence through effective response to residents’ concerns about anti-social behaviour.
The order will give the council and police continued additional enforcement powers in relation to people:
• Acting or inciting others to act in a manner that causes, or is likely to cause, harassment, alarm or distress to any person
• Threatening any person with violence and/or being verbally abusive towards any person
• Begging or asking members of the public for money or loitering for the purpose of begging or asking members of the public for money
• Causing a motor vehicle or trailer to stand on a road and/or footpath so as to cause any unnecessary obstruction of the road and/or footpath.
Authorised council officers (e.g. environmental protection officers), police and police community support officers can enforce the PSPO. People breaching the PSPO face a fixed penalty notice of up to £100 or a fine of up to £1,000 on prosecution.
However, as well as providing useful enforcement powers this PSPO has provided additional engagement opportunities to improve behaviour and enable support to be offered to people who are rough sleeping or at risk of homelessness and numerous opportunities have been taken to do this.
Cabinet member for community safety Councillor Bob Piper said:
“Local residents and businesses have showed huge support for the PSPO and voiced their wish for it be renewed for a further three years.
“Since its introduction 66 Fixed Penalty Notices (FPNs) have been issued and it has helped address anti-social behaviour and residents’ concerns relating to harassment, alarm or distress and aggressive or fraudulent begging. “
There is a map of the area covered by the PSPO at www.sandwell.gov.uk/pspomap.