Civil Liberties Campaign Group Criticise Hounslow

Liberty says PSPO Consultation is inadequate


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Hounslow Council are currently consultlng on the introduction of a Public Space Protection Order to replace the existing Controlled Drinking Zone which will expire on 31 July.

The well known campaign group Liberty have written to Hounslow criticising this consultation.

Liberty’s concerns are that the public is being consulted despite the fact that no draft Order has been published, nor has the council provided any evidence of the necessity for a PSPO.

The letter says the council needs to consider:

"whether activities are being carried on that are having or are likely to have a detrimental effect on those in the locality; and

"whether that detrimental effect is persistent or continuing or makes the activities unreasonable and, if so, whether it justifies the restrictions in the PSPO".

The letter also raises the concern that the PSPO proposed in the Feltham Park Area includes a dispersal power. Local authorities do not actually have the power to create PSPOs including dispersal powers, and this must not be enacted by the council.

"Dispersal powers are governed by Part 3 of the [Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing] Act 2014, which gives dispersla powers to the polilce, not local authorities. Liberty is concerned about PSPOs which include unlawaful dispersal powers, which risk criminalising people for exercising their rights of freedom of expression and freedom of association".

Liberty are asking Hounslow Council to

  • "publish a copy of the PSPO so that interested parties can comment on its terms rather than relying on a vague summary;
  • publish a copy of any supporting evidence or analysis that justifies the introduction of the PSPO; and
  • confirm that the PSPO will not contain an unlawful dispersal power".

Comments can still be made online on this consultation, now extended to 28th July.

Liberty can be found at @libertyhq

We have asked Hounslow for a comment.

July 6, 2017

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