Agenda item

Borough-wide Designated Public Place Order - update


The Crime and Anti-Social Behaviour Manager presented an update on the current position and use of the Borough-wide Designated Public Place Order (DPPO) which had been approved by the Licensing Board on 21st March, 2012 (Minute No. 51 refers).


In Rotherham the DPPO was enforced by Police Officers, Police Community Support Officers and, under new shared/accreditation powers, RMBC Wardens although they could not issue a Penalty Notice for Disorder.  South Yorkshire Police worked with voluntary, statutory and business partners to deliver an integrated approach to reducing violent crime in the Borough.  A partnership delivery plan was in place which focussed on maximum visibility, effective use of legislation and joint partnership working.  To complement the work on reducing alcohol-related violence, the principals of the Community Alcohol Partnerships had been rolled out across all Wards to reduce alcohol-related anti-social behaviour.


Although the Police did not record the number of times the powers of the DPPO had been used, the partnership work was reliant upon DPPO’s to assist officers to prevent drinking in streets/public places which was likely to cause violence or anti-social behaviour and the designated DPPO signs acted as a visible reminder to potential offenders.


Over the past 6 months the DPPO had been used to complement Dispersal Legislation with 122 individuals having been issued a Dispersal Notice.  Dispersal Notices were then followed by a letter of advice stating that should they be involved in further alcohol-related anti-social behaviour, a breach of DPPO or disorderly behaviour over the next 2 months then they would be placed on an Acceptable Behaviour Contract (ABC).  To date, 104 had been issued to offenders from the night time economy (1 had gone on to reoffend and had been placed under an ABC) and 18 to day time drinkers (2 had reoffended and been made the subject to Anti-Social Behaviour Orders).  Those that breached a DPPO or were issued a Dispersal Notice were also provided information on alcohol units and the Milton House Project.


DPPOs would be replaced by Community Protection Orders (Public Spaces) on 20th October, 2014, under the new Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014.  The new Legislation recognised that many authorities would already have signage in place for the existing DPPO and the Home Office had stated that it could be retained for a maximum period of 3 years from the 20th October.


The main purpose of the new Public Spaces Protection Orders was to deal with a particular nuisance or problem in a particular area that was detrimental to the local community’s quality of life by imposing conditions on the use of that area.  Examples of potential use was dog control, alleygating and stopping certain individuals going to a particular place.


The Council would issue them, following consultation with the Police, the Police and Crime Commissioner and other relevant bodies, if it was satisfied on reasonable grounds that 2 conditions were met; firstly that the activities carried on in a public place within the Authority’s area had had a detrimental effect on the quality of life of those in the locality and secondly that it was likely that the activities would be carried on in a public place within that area and that they would have such an effect.  The Order was valid for 3 years.


The restrictions could be set by the Council i.e. it could be a blanket requirement or targeted against certain behaviours by certain groups at certain times.  It could be enforced by a Police Officer, Police Community Support Officer or a Council Officer.  Breach of the Order was a criminal offence with a Fixed Penalty Notice of up to £100 or prosecution up to level 3.


Anyone who lived in an area, regularly worked in the area, visited the area could appeal against a Public Space Protection Order in a High Court within 6 weeks of issue or variation of the Order being applied for.


More than 1 restriction could be added to the same area i.e. a single Order could deal with a wide range of issues such anti-social behaviour, drinking of alcohol, dog control.  There was also no reason why a Public Spaces Protection Order could not run alongside a DPPO.


 Discussion ensued with the following points raised/clarified:-


-          Concern that the Police did not record how many times they had used the DPPO powers – if the power was exercised by the Council’s Wardens it was recorded and passed onto the Police

-          The system operated by EDS was still in use whereby businesses could ring to alert others of potential anti-social behaviour

-          In theory if a tenant was found to be in breach of a Public Spaces Protection Order it could be used as a means of terminating their tenancy if the definition of “locality” was satisfied.  The definition of “locality” would refer to housing tenancy management

-          The new Legislation was intended to complement existing work such as Community Alcohol Partnerships


Resolved:-  (1)  That the current position on the use and effectiveness of the Designated Public Place Order be noted.


(2)  That the continued use the Designed Public Place Order in the Borough as an effective tool to tackle alcohol related anti-social behaviour be supported.


(3)  That a further update be submitted in 6 months.


(4)  That a letter be sent to the District Commander requesting the collection of data by the Police on the use of Designated Public Place Orders in Rotherham.


(5)  That consideration be given to the most suitable means of informing Members and officers of the new Community Protection Orders (Public Space).

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