Public Space Protection Order for Rushden recommended for introduction

Community safety

15 January 2024

North Northamptonshire Council’s Executive will be asked to approve the introduction of measures to tackle anti-social behaviour in Rushden town centre at a meeting this week.

Following a consultation in late 2023, a report recommends that a new Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) is brought in. Of those who completed the consultation, 84% agreed or strongly agreed with a PSPO being introduced in Rushden.

A PSPO is a power under the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 that allows a council to impose restrictions in particular areas to tackle nuisance or problem behaviour. For this PSPO, it would include areas such as alcohol consumption, rowdy or inconsiderate behaviour and begging.

It would cover Rushden town centre and the surrounding area and has been designed to cover antisocial behaviour hotspots in the town centre, preventing it from moving from the town centre to nearby parks and public spaces.
If the PSPO is approved for introduction, NNC will work with the Police to make sure people are aware of the order and the area it covers, so it is clear which behaviours and activities are not allowed in the area and individuals who carry on committing anti-social behaviour could be fined through a Fixed Penalty Notice.

Rushden town centre has been experiencing anti-social behaviour in the area covering the High Street and War Memorial Gardens, but also extending to other areas of the town centre. PSPOs are widely regarded as useful tools in the prevention of anti-social behaviour in public spaces, including town centres.

If approved, this new PSPO will give authorised officers the ability to use enforcement powers to respond to anti-social behaviour within Rushden town centre, which in serious cases could result in a Fixed Penalty Notice being issued.
Cllr Mark Rowley, the council’s Executive Member for Housing, Communities and Levelling Up
In 2023 I met, alongside council officers, with the Police and Fire Crime Commissioner, Northants Police and Rushden Town Council to look at problems with anti-social behaviour, street drinking, illegal parking and sales of drugs and alcohol. It was agreed that that the possibility of creating a PSPO for the town centre would be looked at, as part of our commitment to make communities across North Northants safer. 

Our aim is to rid North Northants, and in this case Rushden, of anti-social behaviour and activities that are impacting so many lives.

With this in mind, PSPOs are vital tools to help authorised officers to engage with people whose behaviours is likely to have a detrimental effect on other people’s quality of life. Similar PSPOs are in place in other town centres across North Northants and have had a positive impact.

Following a public consultation, I am pleased we are now in a position to discuss the proposed PSPO further and, hopefully, introduce it as soon as possible.
Cllr Jason Smithers, Leader of the Council

North Northamptonshire Council’s Executive will meet on Thursday 18 January at 10am at the Corby Cube. The meeting will be live streamed on YouTube and the agenda is now available online.