Twelve areas of Brighton and Hove have been granted special protection from travellers after a vote by councillors this afternoon (Thursday 14 July).
The 12 sites will be subject to a “public spaces protection order” (PSPO) which is intended to tackle anti-social behaviour.
The order – to be made by Brighton and Hove City Council – sets out prohibited behaviours which would include
- occupying any vehicle, caravan, tent or other structure
- driving any vehicle on grass
- littering or fly-tipping
- lighting or maintaining a fire
- defecating or urinating
The order would empower the council or police to
- remove any vehicle, caravan, tent or other structure within 12 hours
- dispose of items as directed
- put out any fires
- require people to give their name, address and date of birth
A report to councillors said that the orders were intended to tackle anti-social behaviour that was
- having a detrimental effect on the quality of life of those in the locality
- persistent or continuous and
The 12 sites are
- The Greenway next to the railway in the New England Quarter
- Hollingbury Park
- Lawn Memorial Cemetery and adjacent land in Woodingdean
- Preston Park
- Rottingdean Recreation Ground
- The seafront including the A259 from Black Rock to Hove Lagoon
- Sheepcote Valley and East Brighton Park
- St Helen’s Green
- Stanmer Park
- Surrenden Field
- Wild Park
Some of the sites are sensitive because they have heritage status, are heavily used or are next to densely populated areas.
The report said: “Breaching a PSPO is a criminal offence. A fixed penalty notice can be issued or a summons can be served.
“It is suggested that a fixed penalty notice carries a fine of £75. This is the same fine that is applied to a fixed penalty notice in relation to littering and fly-tipping. The amount of the fine will be kept under review.
“If police are not satisfied regarding the identification or an address given by an offender they can arrest under the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984.
“A breach of a PSPO can be enforced by a council or police officer.
“People staying in these locations include ethnically defined gypsies and travellers who tend to use large caravans and towing vehicles, new travellers who use a variety of older large vehicles including caravans, people who choose to sleep in tents rather than rough sleep in the city centre and, in some instances, people camping while visiting Brighton.”
Councillors and officials were warned that making an order could lead to a legal challenge by the Equality and Human Rights Commission. It was among the organisations to submit formal written objections to the council.
The order is being made as the new permanent travellers site is about to open at Horsdean along with the refurbished transit site.
Green councillors Phélim Mac Cafferty and Ollie Sykes voted against the new powers. But they were adopted with the support of the eight Labour and Conservative members of the council’s Policy, Resources and Growth Committee at the Friends’ Meeting House in Brighton.
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