Hatfield Public Spaces Protection Order

Useful information about the Public Spaces Protection Order being consulted upon for Hatfield.

What is a Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO)?

A PSPO is an enforceable part of the Anti-Social Behaviour (ASB), Crime and Policing Act 2014 which is intended to deal with behaviours and problems that are considered to be detrimental to the local community's quality of life. It does this by imposing prohibitions and restrictions on the use of that area which will apply to everyone so that the majority of people can enjoy public spaces.   

A PSPO can help give the local council and local police additional powers to tackle anti-social behaviour in specific locations.


Why is a PSPO being considered?

In 2017 a consultation took place with local businesses, residents and visitors to Hatfield Town Centre. This consultation highlighted concerns about the level of anti-social behaviour and a PSPO was implemented to prohibit street drinking, begging, rough sleeping and urinating and defecating in public.

It is important to note that PSPO enforcement would be a last resort. Outreach work remains our focus to ensure the most vulnerable in our community can access the right help and support.


Why are we consulting on this proposal?

The current PSPO is due to expire on 31 July 2021 and we would like your views as to whether the PSPO is still the right solution to address your concerns and tackle local issues. For a PSPO to be extended or discharged, it needs the support of local residents and the business community. We (the council) must have evidence to show that anti-social behaviour has had a detrimental effect on the quality of life of local people, or that it is likely this behaviour will take place if the Order is removed.


What is the aim of the consultation?

The aim of this consultation is to understand in more detail any concerns you may have and hear your views on whether or not a PSPO is still the right solution to address any concerns and/or tackle local issues and whether you feel the current PSPO has been effective in tackling local issues that you identified during the initial consultation before the Order was implemented.

It will also help us identify any other local issues affecting businesses and visitors to Hatfield Town Centre that we did not consider under the original Order. 


How are PSPOs enforced?

Orders can be enforced by a police officer, police community support officer (PCSO) and delegated council officers (where appropriate, reasonable and practical). A breach of the Order is a criminal offence; fines of up to £1,000 can be handed down at prosecution, or a Fixed Penalty Notice of up to £100 can be issued on the spot.


How is it decided what to put in the PSPO?

A PSPO shouldn't stop people enjoying themselves; it aims to strike a balance between preventing anti-social behaviour and ensuring public spaces can be enjoyed by all. 


What is being proposed to be included within this PSPO and why?

The following have been highlighted by the local community during previous consultation.

It is important to note that PSPO enforcement would be a last resort. Outreach work remains our focus to ensure the most vulnerable in our community can access the right help and support. 

What the proposed protection order will prohibit

Proposed Protection Order Prohibitions

Why is this being suggested?

Not to consume alcohol in a public place


Not to be in possession of an open vessel(s) of alcohol in a public place



Alcohol consumption would be contained within the boundaries of licensed premises. People under the influence of alcohol on streets and pavements may be anti-social and cause harassment, alarm or distress to others.


Individuals with drug and alcohol dependency issues need proper help and support which will be provided by the members of the Community Safety Partnership (CSP)

Not to approach another person either verbally or through action in order to beg from the other person.


Not to loiter at or within 10 metres of any pay machine (including banks, supermarkets and car parks) unless waiting legitimately to use the machine for the purpose it is designed for.


Not to sit on the ground in a public place, street, highway or passage in a manner that may be perceived that you are inviting people to give you money

This can be intimidating to the public and beggars often need long term help and support rather than short term donations. 


This support will be offered by members of the Community Safety Partnership.

Not to urinate or defecate in a public place

This is a public health matter.  There is also a risk of indecent exposure.

Not to sleep in any public place which is or includes:

·       Open to the air,

·       Within a vehicle for a sustained period,

·       Within a car park,

·       A non-fixed structure including a caravan or tent without the prior permission of the owner or occupier of the land.

Rough sleeping in the town centre has been linked to a possible increase in calls to the Police regarding criminal damage and an increase of abandoned drugs paraphernalia.


A coordinated multi-agency approach is required to ensure that anyone sleeping rough, or at risk of sleeping rough, is able to access the necessary support to help them off the streets and to address the problems that led to their homelessness.

What is already controlled by other laws?

Many of the day-to-day behaviours of people are already covered by a number of established laws and regulations. The conditions within the proposed PSPO are in addition to existing legislation that already covers:

  • Littering
  • Cycling on pavements
  • Dog fouling


Will this affect licensed premises?

No this Order will have no impact on any licensed premises.


How long could the order be in place for?

A PSPO can last for up to three years, after which it must be reviewed. If the review supports an extension and other requirements are satisfied, it may be extended for a further three years. There is no limit on the number of times an Order may be reviewed and renewed.


What is the area to be covered by the PSPO?

It is proposed that the PSPO area is the same as that which was covered by the old Designated Public Protection Order in Hatfield.

This area is highlighted in red on the map. Icon for pdf Map of area covered by proposed Hatfield PSPO [344.6KB]


How long does the consultation run for?

The consultation will run from Wednesday 10 February to Thursday 18 March 2021.


How do I get involved?

Give us your views by completing the online survey or Icon for pdf download and complete the PSPO consultation form [193.85KB] and email it to feelsafe@welhat.gov.uk.

Consultation documents are also available by calling the ASB and Communities Team on 01707 357706 and requesting a consultation pack.