Public Spaces Protection Orders: a critical policy analysis

HEAP, Vicky and DICKINSON, Jill (2018). Public Spaces Protection Orders: a critical policy analysis. Safer Communities, 17 (3), 182-192.

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Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to critically appraise the Public Spaces Protection Orders (PSPOs) policy that was introduced by the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act (2014). Within a designated area assigned by the local council, PSPOs can prohibit or require specific behaviours to improve the quality of life for people inhabiting that space. Those who do not comply face a fixed penalty notice of £100 or a fine of £1000 on summary conviction. However, the practical and theoretical impact associated with the development of these powers has yet to be fully explored. Design/methodology/approach: Using Bannister and O’Sullivan’s (2013) discussion of civility and ASB policy as a starting point, we show how PSPOs could create new frontiers in exclusion, intolerance and criminalisation; as PSPOs enable the prohibition of any type of behaviour perceived to negatively affect the quality of life. Findings: Local councils in England and Wales now have unlimited and unregulated powers to control public spaces. We suggest this has the potential to produce localised tolerance thresholds and civility agendas that currently target and further marginalise vulnerable people, and we highlight street sleeping homeless people as one such group. Originality: There has been little academic debate on this topic. This article raises a number of original, conceptual questions that provide an analytical framework for future empirical research. We also use original data from Freedom of Information requests to contextualise our discussions.

Item Type: Article
Research Institute, Centre or Group - Does NOT include content added after October 2018: Law Research Group
Departments - Does NOT include content added after October 2018: Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities > Department of Law and Criminology
Identification Number:
Page Range: 182-192
Depositing User: Vicky Heap
Date Deposited: 29 Mar 2018 10:35
Last Modified: 17 Mar 2021 23:38

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