ASBO-style orders used on hundreds of occasions in Doncaster
Doncaster Council used ASBO-style orders aimed at tackling nuisance behaviour on hundreds of occasions last year, figures reveal.
The local authority issued 160 Community Protection Notices in the year to October last year, according to Freedom of Information requests submitted by The Manifesto Club, among the highest number of the councils that provided figures.
The orders can place legal restrictions on people whose behaviour is deemed to have a “detrimental” effect on a community’s quality of life.
The Manifesto Club said CPNs have been used by councils nationally to ban begging, sitting on pavements, and to order people to tidy up messy gardens.
Doncaster Borough Council also gave out 58 fines for violating Public Spaces Protection Orders in 2019.
A local authority can issue PSPOs to ban activities it judges have had, or will have, a similar negative effect on the quality of life of people in the area.
Nationally, they have been used to ban shouting or swearing, loitering, charity collecting, and standing in groups, says the Manifesto Club.
Across England and Wales, 8,760 CPNs were issued by 202 councils in the year to October – the highest number recorded by the civil liberties group and up from 6,234 by 192 councils the previous year.
Councils gave out 10,413 PSPOs in 2019, up from 9,930 a year earlier.
Director of the Manifesto Club Josie Appleton said the test for what constitutes detrimental behaviour was “unprecedentedly low” for criminal intervention, and that the powers were hard to appeal.
She added: “These blank-cheque busybody powers are the cause of immense injustice, and a fundamental threat to our freedoms. They should be removed from the statute book.”
The Home Office issued fresh guidance on their use in 2017, saying particular care should be taken with the use of CPNs on “vulnerable members of society”. But Ms Appleton said 31 councils had used them to target the homeless.
The LGA defended their use as “one of a number of ways councils can tackle persistent anti-social behaviour problems raised by local communities”.
Doncaster Council was approached for a comment.