High court challenge to PSPO use

Tuesday, 5 November 2019

After it was revealed that Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole (BCP) council had targeted homeless people with a public space protection order (PSPO), there will now be a landmark high court case against the council. 

Public space protection orders are a tool to restrict certain actions and behaviours in geographically defined spaces. Although Home Office guidance prohibits local authorities from using PSPOs to target rough sleeping, last year The Guardian found 60 local authorities who had done exactly this. 

Poole resident, Sarah Ward, with support from Liberty, launched this challenge to the local PSPO told The Guardian

I hope this case stops councils everywhere from misusing these crude powers to target people in poverty with criminal sanctions.

Last year we published two reports, Anti-social behaviour powers and young adults: The Data and Anti-social behaviour powers and young adults: Practitioners' accounts exploring the impact of ASB powers on young adults aged 18-25. We are currently working on a project to find out more about how ASB measures are being used in relation to young adults in areas where the number of prosecutions for breach is high, and using this evidence to help inform future practice in those areas. 

Read more about our work on anti-social behaviour and young adults here