Early success for Woolwich's Public Space Protection Order (PSPO)

Published Friday, 19 August 2016

Woolwich Town Centre's Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) has already proven a great success with residents and traders reporting a much improved, family-friendly atmosphere.

In the first three weeks since implementation, Royal Borough of Greenwich Town Centre Wardens intervened on 46 separate occasions to confiscate open containers of alcohol. In these cases, 14 individuals agreed to surrender the containers and 32 people were requested to leave the area with immediate effect. Out of these cases, 14 Fixed Penalty Notices were also issued for consuming alcohol.

The Metropolitan Police have also been actively enforcing the Order and supporting the wardens when situations threaten to escalate. They have attended 16 incidents in response to Warden requests and made four arrests with each person going to court and receiving hefty penalties.

The implementation of the PSPO in Woolwich is part of a wider strategy which encompasses engaging with local businesses to reduce the availability of high strength drinks and doubling efforts to ensure that those who are suffering from alcohol or substance abuse receive the support and treatment they deserve. To this effect, joint training has been undertaken by the wardens and police town centre team with briefings by the Lifeline BaSIS commissioned alcohol service.

Lifeline BaSIS staff also undertook outreach with the long-standing group of street drinkers before and during implementation, to ensure that they are aware of the support and treatment options available to them. The Wardens have referred six people so far to Lifeline BaSIS and other suitable support services. Early figures from Lifeline BaSIS also show a steady number of self-referrals since the introduction of the PSPO even though there is usually a significant dip in July and August.

Cabinet Member for Community Safety and Environment Cllr Jackie Smith said:

"The PSPO's success speaks for itself; street drinking is down, referrals to support agencies are up and the number of businesses participating in the Reduce the Strength Campaign is higher than ever.

We're not going to stop here though and we will soon be carrying out another survey of residents and businesses to find out how they feel the PSPO is performing. Together, we can ensure that Woolwich is one of the safest family-friendly towns in the borough."

Deputy Borough Commander Joseph McDonald added:

"One month on from the introduction of the PSPO in Woolwich and we are already seeing some really positive results. The Metropolitan Police remain firmly committed to working with the Royal Borough of Greenwich to do all we can in tackling street drinking and anti-social behaviour.

However, the Woolwich PSPO was never just about enforcement. It's also about helping those with substance addiction to find the appropriate support services and I'm delighted to say that the initial data shows that the PSPO is doing exactly that."

For help and guidance from local organisations on alcohol addiction, please visit and search 'alcohol'.


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