Have your say on Horsham District Council’s Public Spaces Protection Order plans

Horsham Didtrict Council

A message from Horsham District Council:

Horsham District Council would like to hear the views of people living in, working in or visiting the Horsham District on their plans to renew and extend the prohibitions on their Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO).

There is currently a Public Spaces Protection Order in force across the Horsham District. This came into effect on 1 April 2018 with the aim of addressing anti-social behaviour issues and improving public spaces. Under legislation each PSPO lasts for three years and the current one expires on 31 March 2021.

Horsham District Council would like to renew the PSPO for a further three years (1 April 2021 – 31 March 2024) and also include new prohibitions to the Order.

The current Horsham District PSPO prohibits the following activities:

  • Nuisance behaviour relating to alcohol
  • Anti-social use of vehicles
  • Dog fouling
  • Lack of control of dogs
  • Unauthorised access and nuisance behaviour – Horsham town only
  • Racing of horse drawn vehicles on any dual carriageway, including the A24 and A264.

The following additional prohibitions are being suggested for inclusion going forward: For the whole Horsham District it is proposed to include that there should be:

No intoxication or possession of psychoactive substances

It is proposed to add a prohibition to the Order that states that no person shall drink, inhale, inject, or otherwise use or be in possession of any intoxicating substances, or “legal highs”, or drug paraphernalia including nitrous oxide canisters.

For Horsham Town Centre only it is proposed to include that there should be:

No unlicensed busking

Licensed buskers are required to meet certain conditions and to make available their badge for inspection by Horsham District Council Neighbourhood Wardens, police, Environmental Health and Licencing officers. If added to the PSPO, failure to either produce their badge or to stick to the conditions would lead to a Fixed Penalty Notice.

No selling of periodicals which include a prize competition dependent on skill

The Council has received complaints from the public about companies who purport to being charitable in status when in fact they are for profit, employing aggressive sales tactics and misleading information. Despite challenge, these companies continue to operate considering that they do not require a trader’s licence as they are running a prize competition based on skill. The tickets are categorised as ‘periodicals’ as the competition is drawn once a year. It is proposed to implement a prohibition to deal with this problem and to tackle the aggressive selling techniques, whilst not affecting legitimate selling such as sales of the Big Issue.

No anti-social behaviour or nuisance behaviour in car parks and stairwells

There have been numerous complaints of anti-social behaviour within the car parks in the town centre, caused by young people consuming alcohol or drugs, causing damage and playing loud music. These activities have given rise to complaints to both the Council and the police from residents and are causing nuisance, annoyance and distress to other members of the public wishing to use these public spaces.

No drinking of alcohol in The Causeway and Gardens of Remembrance

The Council and police have received numerous complaints concerning individuals gathering on benches in the Causeway and the Gardens of Remembrance in Horsham Town Centre. Those gathering often do so to drink alcohol together and then to on to engage in anti-social behaviour such as public urination, using threatening and abusive language, and being drunk and disorderly. The behaviour from such individuals generally improves upon the arrival of the police or Council officers making it difficult to effectively respond to the issue. It is therefore proposed that the drinking of alcohol within the restricted areas of The Causeway and Gardens of Remembrance is prohibited.

Cllr Tricia Youtan, Horsham District Council’s Cabinet Member for Community Matters and Wellbeing said:

“The current PSPO has had a positive effect on addressing anti-social behaviour in our District and we hope that not only will we get support to continue for a further three years, but also that we can include additional prohibitions to make the District a safer and better place to live.”

Horsham District Council would like your views on the new prohibitions and whether they should extend the PSPO for a further three years.

An online consultation will be live on the Council’s website www.horsham.gov.uk/pspoconsultation from 1 – 31 January 2021.
You can also email communitysafety@horsham.gov.uk to request a paper version be sent in the post.

All responses to the consultation will be analysed and carefully considered as part of the Council’s decision-making process informing the final content of the Order”.

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