Sunday 27th May 2018,
North Yorks Enquirer

SBC: “Let Us Fine Homeless People”

Less than a week to go until Scarborough Borough Council’s latest consultation closes. The consultation concerns a Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) in the wider Scarborough town centre area.

A PSPO is an order which allows local authorities to ban specific acts, which are not necessarily criminal offenses, but are committed in a specified geographical area. PSPOs were introduced by the Tory / Lib Dem Coalition under the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act in 2014.

With a PSPO in place, local authorities and the Police are empowered to hand out Fixed Penalty Notices (FPNs) to people doing those specified acts. Highlights of SBC’s PSPO are:

  • Deter Rough Sleeping – They want to fine penniless homeless people!
  • Deter Use of Intoxicating Substances – Supply and consumption of drugs is addressed under criminal law. They will likely start handing out FPNs for being drunk and disorderly.
  • Deter Urination/Defecation – Already a criminal offense. If only SBC hadn’t shut all the public toilets!
  • Deter Begging – Already a crime under the Vagrancy Act 1824. Most beggars are skint too!
  • Deter Inconsiderate Busking – The order could restrict excessive amplification at the Open Air Theatre and SBC may have to fine themselves! Is there no end to SBC’s stupidity?
  • Deter Consumption of Alcohol – SBC want to fine street drinkers. You can also sit outside and drink wine at a number of town centre cafes! Will it affect them?
  • Deter Bonfires on Beaches – No more beach celebrations on November 5th.

If the council are serious about protecting our public spaces from persistent or continuing anti-social behaviour by individuals or groups which are having a detrimental effect on the quality of life, maybe they should remove their Parking Wardens from the Disc Zone now that the entire Disc Zone is unenforceable!

The geographic area being consulted upon is depicted below:

The last day for filling in the consultation is the 27th December 2016. Give a little of your time and fill in the consultation whilst you’ve got some time off.

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