19 Mar
Why we must support a PSPO

Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO)

Anti-social behaviour has become common place and, whilst the debate is (rightly) focused on policing and not criminalising the vulnerable, continuing failure to address unacceptable and persistent behaviours with every legal means possible is creating a palpable sense of lawlessness.

There is frequent feedback from our members highlighting that there are increasing behaviours of a nature that have a significant and detrimental effect on trade as well as staff and customer perceptions around personal safety. 

Some employees have experienced not only abuse and intimidation but personal threats and, on occasion, there have been physical assaults. 

Whilst we accept a PSPO is not an end-to-end solution, it is a means to help address some of the on-street behaviours before such behaviours escalate into criminal activity. 

We need to confront anti-social behaviour in Sheffield city centre and, rightly so, this consultation has sparked a crucial conversation about how we do that. 

It’s important not to mix homelessness with criminal behaviour. Sheffield City Council must do everything within its power to help those who are genuinely rough sleeping and vulnerable. At the same time, it must also stop those who make the lives of businesses (and their employees/customers) a misery. There are issues of abuse, intimidation and threats being experienced daily. This isn’t about impinging civil liberties or stopping normal visitor behaviour. This is about tackling behaviours which are totally unreasonable and persistent, and which affect the quality of life of other people. 

We hear the arguments for treating the cause not the effects; we’ve been listening to these arguments for the past decade yet street drinking and intoxication, intimidation and plain disregard for others is making parts of our city centre a no-go area. 

People using the city centre have the right to an environment that is free of anti-social behaviour.

Diane Jarvis
Head of Business Operations
Sheffield BID