Brighton to fine travellers who camp in parks

Powers to fine people caught littering, camping or behaving antisocially in specific green spaces have been approved by Brighton and Hove city councillors.

Brighton extends Public Space Protection Orders. Image: Pixabay
Brighton extends Public Space Protection Orders. Image: Pixabay

Residents in Brighton and Hove could now be fined £75.00 for any action that has a "detrimental effect" on others' quality of life. The council says it is introducing the fines to protect a number of green spaces within the city and ensure people can use them free from anti-social behaviour.

Councillors agreed to the creation of Public Spaces Protection Orders (PSPO's) for 12 public sites and green spaces across the city, including The Greenway, Hollingbury Park Lawn Memorial Cemetery and adjacent land in Woodingdean, Preston Park, Rottingdean Recreation Ground, Sheepcote Valley and East Brighton Park, St Helen's Green, Stanmer Park, Surrenden Field and Waterhall Wild Park.

The PSPOs enable officers to expand the range of options already available to them to manage anti-social behaviour. Public Space Protection Orders were introduced by the Government in 2014 to give councils and the police more powers to reduce antisocial behaviour in specified locations.

Officers can now fine anyone in an unauthorised caravan or tent, as well as people caught littering, fly tipping, lighting a fire or urinating. Failure to clean up a mess, remove any unauthorised vehicle, or refusal to hand over personal details to a council or police officer could also result in a £75 fine.

In June, in response to the accusation that the PSPOs were specifically targeted at travellers and denied them human rights, the council said the PSPOs "do not target any specific group of people".

It added: "We have seen the distress caused by criminal and environmental damage as a result of activities such as driving large vehicles onto grass and fly tipping. We have wonderful parks and we want to ensure everyone has access to them without being spoilt by a minority. Public Space Protection Orders could be a useful addition to the work we already do to keep parks clean and safe.

"Brighton & Hove is a tolerant and welcoming city but it is not somewhere people can expect to behave in ways that have a detrimental effect on the quality of life of residents."

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