Latest Public Sector News


Councils accuse campaign of ‘trivialising’ anti-social behaviour

Public Space Protection Orders (PSPOs) have been defended by councils in response to planned protests across the country this weekend.

Campaign group the Manifesto Club has announced that it is holding a series of ‘Protest PSPO’ events on 6 and 7 August.

The group, which describes itself as an organisation which “campaigns against the hyperregulation of everyday life”, also published a list of the ’20 worst’ new and proposed PSPOs.

Introduced under the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014, PSPOs give councils the power to ban any behaviour in any public space which is judged to be a nuisance to the community’s way of life.

The PSPOs named by the Manifesto Club include:

  • A ban on busking and public speaking outside Shepherd’s Bush Station by Hammersmith and Fulham Council
  • A ban on 10-17 year olds standing in groups of four or more by Blaby Council
  • A ban on persistent begging, sitting in shop doorways, sleeping in public toilets and refusing to stop drinking alcohol by Tendring District Council
  • A ban on ‘activity which has a detrimental effect on the quality of life of those in the locality’, including verbal abuse, littering and vandalism, by Walsall Council

But Cllr Simon Blackburn, chair of the LGA’s safer and stronger communities board, accused the Manifesto Club of “completely trivialising anti-social behaviour, such as aggressive begging, public drinking or racing in cars”.

“These are serious offences that make the lives of victims a misery – in some cases with tragic consequences,” he added. “Councils are determined to protect their communities from behaviour that ruins their quality of life or means people are scared to visit public places. Crime and anti-social behaviour by its very nature varies from place to place and that is why different councils are responding in a variety of ways."

The planned protests by the Manifesto Club include standing in groups of two at Hillingdon, which is banned under a PSPO, and lying down in sleeping bags in Woking to protest an anti-begging PSPO.

(Image c. Trowbridge Estate)

Have you got a story to tell? Would you like to become a PSE columnist? If so, click here.


There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

public sector executive tv

more videos >

last word

Prevention: Investing for the future

Prevention: Investing for the future

Rob Whiteman, CEO at the Chartered Institute of Public Finance (CIPFA), discusses the benefits of long-term preventative investment. Rising demand, reducing resource – this has been the r more > more last word articles >

public sector focus

View all News


Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

21/06/2019Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

Taking time to say thank you is one of the hidden pillars of a society. Bei... more >
How community-led initiatives can help save the housing shortage

19/06/2019How community-led initiatives can help save the housing shortage

Tom Chance, director at the National Community Land Trust Network, argues t... more >


Artificial intelligence: the devil is in the data

17/12/2018Artificial intelligence: the devil is in the data

It’s no secret that the public sector and its service providers need ... more >