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Public Spaces Protection Orders consultation

We would like your views on two proposed Public Spaces Protection Orders (PSPOs) on street drinking associated with anti-social behaviour. The previous PSPOs have expired and we are consulting on renewing them for three years.

What we're consulting on

We're consulting on proposed Public Space Protection Orders (PSPOs) to restrict street drinking in Bath and Midsomer Norton, including the specific wording of the orders and the proposed areas to be covered. The proposed boundaries for the Bath City PSPO are the same as for the previous PSPO. The proposed boundaries for the Midsomer Norton PSPO have been amended from the previous PSPO to reflect suggestions for changes made in the 2017 consultation.

In summary, the proposed orders would prohibit people from having alcohol in their possession, care, or control in any public place in the areas within the red lines on the respective maps, where they:

  • are or have been, consuming it, or intend to do so, and
  • are behaving in a way that is, or is likely to cause, harassment, alarm, distress, crime, or disorder.

It would not in itself be an offence to drink alcohol in this area, but it would be an offence to fail to comply with a request by an authorised officer (for example, a Police Officer) to stop drinking or hand over their alcohol (including any opened or sealed containers) in the area covered by the PSPO.

Public spaces are areas where the public or any section of the public has access to (including areas the public pay to access, access as their right or virtue of express or implied permission). This means the proposed PSPO would include public car parks, public parks, streets and other public spaces.

Bath

View the draft Bath PSPO map

View the draft Bath PSPO order

Midsomer Norton

View the draft Midsomer Norton PSPO map

View the draft Midsomer Norton PSPO order

Who do we want to hear from?

The consultation is open to all, and we encourage local people, businesses and visitors to Bath and North East Somerset to respond. Contributions are welcome from stakeholders responding on behalf of particular groups impacted by the PSPOs.

Have your say

Complete the survey and provide us with your feedback.

You can read the Equality Impact Assessment, and the proposed orders for Bath and Midsomer Norton before giving us your views.

The consultation closes on Friday 12 March 2021.

Respond to the consultation online

Next steps

After the Friday 12 March 2021, we will review the responses and they will be considered as part of the decision-making process.

Further information and additional formats

If you have any questions about this consultation, or if you need any of this information in an alternative format, please email our Community Safety team at community_safety@bathnes.gov.uk

Expand the following sections to find out more about PSPOs.

Why PSPOs are needed

A PSPO cannot be used to restrict the consumption of alcohol where premises are licensed for the supply of alcohol, because licensing law already includes safeguards against premises becoming associated with nuisance and anti-social behaviour.

Alcohol related anti-social behaviour can quickly escalate and have a significant and lasting impact upon communities. Whilst most residents, visitors or people working in BANES drink alcohol and behave responsibly, their right to enjoyment of our public spaces can be threatened by those who don't behave responsibly. 

PSPOs are designed to ensure people can use and enjoy public spaces without experiencing anti-social behaviour. They are not intended to disrupt peaceful activities, but they are used explicitly to address nuisance or annoyance related to drinking alcohol in public spaces.

Avon & Somerset Police believe that the PSPOs are an active deterrent to anti-social behaviour and an important addition to Avon & Somerset Police powers.

Carry or drink alcohol in public places

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, a PSPO will only be used to tackle alcohol related anti-social behaviour or disorder.

When the PSPOs were adopted

Both PSPOs were adopted in October 2017. The orders were approved following public consultation.

Enforcing the PSPOs

The PSPO will be enforced by the Police or an authorised officer. If the person breaching the PSPO fails to comply with the requirements of the order, it is likely that they will be issued with a £100 Fixed Penalty Notice and if the fine is not paid within the specified time frame, it is likely that they will be taken to court. A person guilty of an offence is liable on summary conviction to a fine of up to £500.

Duration of the PSPO

We are proposing that the PSPO lasts for a three-year period until 2024, at which point we would decide whether to renew it in consultation with residents.

Concerns and issues with street drinking or drinking in public spaces

Street drinking is sometimes associated with anti-social behaviour, causing high levels of noise, rowdy and nuisance behaviour, harassment and intimidation of passers-by, as well as the littering of cans and bottles and urination in public spaces.

Drinking or holding alcohol bottles outside pubs

You can hold or drink alcohol bottles outside pubs; 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 don't stop drinking if asked to do so (by an officer authorised by the local authority or a Police officer), they could be at risk of regulation.

Street parties and events in parks

Events within a public place authorised by a premises license or a Temporary Event Notice (TEN) will be excluded from the Police and Authorised Council Officers PSPO powers.