Published: Tuesday, 31st October 2023
A new boroughwide Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) took effect across the Royal Borough of Greenwich on Tuesday 31 October 2023.
Public Space Protection Orders (PSPOs) were introduced under the Anti-social Behaviour and Policing Act 2014, to ensure public spaces are areas that are free from anti-social behaviour. They provide councils with a wide range of flexible powers to help tackle anti-social behaviour locally.
Over the summer, the Council consulted on replacing two existing PSPOs across key town centre priority areas, with a boroughwide order, which was aimed at tackling anti-social issues that were impacting local communities boroughwide.Some of the existing orders included (but were not limited to):
- Foul or abusive language / threatening or intimidating behaviour
- Consumption of drugs or psychoactive substances
- Aggressive or persistent begging
At the end of the consultation over 75% of respondents supported the Council’s proposal to introduce the PSPO boroughwide. From the 31 October the PSPO will take effect across the whole borough and will also include a new gender-based order which prohibits people from making "lewd, obscene or sexist comments or gestures towards a member of the public" within any public space in the borough.
In addition, it will remain an offence to possess any open container of alcohol in the priority areas of Eltham, Plumstead, Abbey Wood, Greenwich Peninsula, Greenwich Cutty Sark and Woolwich.
Cllr Ann-Marie Cousins, Cabinet Member for Community Safety and Enforcement said: “As a Royal borough we are unapologetically taking a harder stance against known and persistent anti-social behavioural issues as we are committed to ensuring that people in our borough are safe and feel safer.
“Our residents and businesses have told us about the detrimental impact anti-social behaviour of this kind can have on living, working and visiting our neighbourhoods – they often feel powerless, intimidated and fearful of being in certain parts of the borough at certain times. No one should feel this way.
“I wholeheartedly welcome this boroughwide PSPO which will be in place for the next three years. Not only will it allow us the legislative right to keep our borough cleaner and safer, but most importantly, deliver on what residents have asked us to do.”
All residents, workers and visitors to Royal Greenwich are responsible for ensuring they do not carry out anti-social behaviour in public spaces in the borough.
From 31 October, Royal Greenwich community safety enforcement officers will be able to stop and issue £100 on-the-spot fines to anyone seen in the borough who contravenes any of the new orders. They will be supported by a team of externally commissioned local authority support officers who will also help to enforce the orders boroughwide.