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Public Space Protection Order (PSPO)

From 15 August 2016, a Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) will take effect in certain areas of Stevenage. The order was made by the Stevenage Community Safety Partnership, SoSafe, to tackle a wide range of antisocial behaviour in Stevenage.

What is a PSPO?

PSPOs are one of a new range of flexible tools and powers that were introduced by the Antisocial Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 for local authorities and the police to enable them to tackle antisocial behaviour quickly and more effectively.

A PSPO is an enforceable order that can prohibit certain behaviours within an area. The aim is to stop individuals committing antisocial behaviour in public spaces by introducing restrictions on the use of an area, which in turn will keep people safe in Stevenage and help to tackle antisocial behaviour that is detrimental to the community’s quality of life.

The new powers replace and add to previous powers under Designated Public Protection Orders (DPPOs) for tackling antisocial behaviour in public spaces and can be enforced a police officer, police community support officer (PCSO) or an authorised council officer. The PSPO will remain in place for three years, after which it can be renewed. It can also be varied at any time within this period.

What prohibitions are there under the PSPO?

The PSPO prohibits the following activities in the specified zones of Stevenage:

  • Consuming alcohol in a public place
  • Possessing an open vessel(s) of alcohol in a public place
  • Seeking or accepting money from any member of the public in any public place, street, highway or passage
  • Loitering around pay machines (including banks, supermarkets and car parks) unless waiting to legitimately use the machine for the purpose it is designed for
  • Sitting on the ground in a public place, street, highway or passage in a manner to be perceived that you are inviting people to give you money
  • Urinating or defecating in a public place.

These behaviours cause harassment, alarm and distress and can make people feel unsafe and intimidated.

You can view and download the PSPO order here

What areas of Stevenage does the PSPO apply to?

The PSPO applies to the following zoned areas of Stevenage:

  • Stevenage Town Centre (including gardens and leisure park)
  • Old Town
  • Shephall (The Hyde)
  • Pin Green (The Oval)

Maps of these areas can be viewed and downloaded here

You can also view a list of the streets covered by the order here

What happens if somebody breaches the PSPO?

Failure to comply with the prohibitions of a PSPO is an offence and carries criminal sanctions. Anybody caught breaching the PSPO will be liable for a Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN) or face prosecution and a fine of up to £1,000. Authorised officers will take a proportionate and common sense approach in applying these sanctions.

The PSPO will also allow officers to back up enforcement measures with opportunities to provide support and interventions. This includes signposting vulnerable individuals to local support services.

If you are homeless, you should contact Stevenage Borough Council’s homelessness team on 01438 242242. Alternatively, you can contact Stevenage Haven homeless shelter on 01438 354884 or visit their website:

For more information on alcohol and drugs support, you can contact the No More Drugs and Alcohol Service on 01438 242242 or email

Further information

More information on Public Space Protection Orders can be in section 2.6 of the Home Office statutory guidance document for the ASB, Crime and Policing Act 2014. This can be found here.

Leaflet - What is a PSPO?

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