Rushden’s Public Space Protection Order now in force in a bid to tackle anti-social behaviour

27 March 2024

Rushden’s Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) is now officially in force, with signage going up this week across the town and surrounding areas. 

Under the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014, the order allows a council to impose restrictions in particular areas in a bid to tackle nuisance or problem behaviour. It gives the police and the council wider discretionary powers to deal with problems which harm the local community's quality of life.

Following a consultation in late 2023, 84% of those who completed the questionnaire agreed or strongly agreed with a PSPO being introduced in Rushden. Problems in the town continue to include public alcohol consumption, rowdy or inconsiderate behaviour and begging.  

The primary approach will be to engage and to educate individuals carrying out anti-social behaviour, but the new PSPO will give authorised officers the ability to issue a Fixed Penalty Notice of £100 paid to the council, or to prosecute.

PSPOs are vital tools to help authorised officers to engage with people whose behaviours are likely to have a detrimental effect on other people’s quality of life.

The order will give us and the police the power to engage with offenders to try and change people’s behaviours, and if without success, take enforcement action.  Similar PSPOs are in place in other town centres across North Northants and have had a positive impact.

NNC will now 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.  
Cllr Mark Rowley, North Northamptonshire Council's Executive Member for Housing, Communities and Levelling Up
Our aim is to rid North Northants, and in this case Rushden, of anti-social behaviour and activities that are impacting so many lives.  

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 creating a PSPO for the town centre would be brought in as part of our commitment to make communities across North Northants safer.   

We all want to create a district free from anti-social behaviour where we can all happily co-exist. By tackling these issues we can ease the disruption and distress for our residents, an maintain the cleanliness and safety of our public spaces.
Jason Smithers, Leader of North Northamptonshire Council