Thursday, 16 August 2018

Is this Big Brother Brent - or just plain sensible? You decide...

Consigned to the past?

Brent Council is consulting on the imposition of Public Space Protection Orders (PSPO) in many areas of Brent.

They explain:

We are consulting residents of Brent on introducing a Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) to help the police and Council tackle enviro crime and anti-social behaviour [in]our parks and open spaces. We seek to ensure that the law-abiding majority can use and enjoy public spaces, safe from anti-social behaviour. The Orders can be enforced by fixed penalty notices or prosecution, by police or Council officers. Current policy • A maximum fine for breach of Brent’s current park byelaws is £20 and there has been no enforcement undertaken since it was enacted. • A maximum fine for Breach of a PSPO is £100 and there is flexibility under the legislation to prosecute persistent offenders at Court, where they could be fined a maximum of £1000 pounds. Under the legislation consent would have to be given by private land owners should the Council decide to implement an order which covers such an area. Intended outcome: If a PSPO is introduced, those in breach face an instant £100 fixed penalty fine or possible criminal prosecution. If introduced, the PSPO will be enforced by a partnership of the police and council.

As always the question immediately arises as to whether the police or council have the resources or time  to enforce such rules as well as whether people could be caught by them through the lack of amenities such as public toilets in parks or through indulging in innocent activities with children such as feeding birds. Some proposals will be uncontroversial in principle but the method of enforcement, as highlighted by former councillor John Duffy over Fixed Penalty Notices for littering LINK, could aggravate matters. Given the increase in rough sleeping as a result of homelessness enforcement of 4) could result in harassment of those already vulnerable and in need.

These are the proposed  prohibited ‘anti-social’ activities:
1.     The use of illegal drugs and psychoactive substances (formerly known as legal highs) 

2.     Alcohol use 

3.     Littering of cigarettes, bottles, cans, food etc. 

4.     Erecting or occupying any shelter, sleeping apparatus, or caravan with the intention of 
residing in it without the written approval of the London Borough of Brent 

5.     Urinating or defecating 

6.     Feeding of vermin (pigeons and other species of birds, rats etc.) 

7.     Driving unauthorised motor vehicles without the consent of the London Borough of Brent 

8.     Defacing or damaging fixtures or furniture 

9.     Losing control of any dogs 

10. Walking more than 4 dogs at a time 

11. Allowing dogs access into specified “dog free“ areas 

12. The flying of drones without the consent of the London Borough of Brent. 

13. Launching of sky (Chinese) lanterns on council land 

Within the restricted area described above, the following activities are required :-
14.       In the event that a dog defecates in the restricted area, the person responsible for the dog at the time, must remove the faeces immediately
15.       Dogs are required to be kept on a lead when in or near any of the flower gardens within any restricted area

In the light of  grassland fires during the recent very dry spell it is interesting that barbecues are not mentioned. 

The parks and open spaces listed are:

Abbey Estate Open Space, Alperton Sports Ground, Barham Park, Barn Hill, Basing Hill, Brampton Grove, Bramshill Road, Brent River Park, Brentfield Park, Brondesbury Park, Butlers Green, Caffrey Gardens, Cambridge Square and Gardens, Canal Walk, Chalkhill Linear Park, Chalkhill Open Space, Chalkhill Park, Chapter Road, Chelmsford Square, Church End, Church Lane Recreation Ground, Crouch Road, Crown Walk, De Haviland Road, Denzil Road, Elmwood Park, Eton Grove, Evefield Open Space, Franklyn Road, Fryent Country Park, Furness Road, GEC Sports Ground (off Preston Road), Gibbons Recreation Ground, Gladstone Park, Goldsmith Lane, Grove Park, Hazel Road, Heather Park, John Billam Sports Ground, Kensal Green , Kenton Grange, King Edward VII Park, Wembley ,Kimberley Road, Kingsbury Green, Learie Constantine open space, Leybourne Road, Lindsay Park, Longstone Avenue, Mapesbury Dell, Maybank, Mayo Road, Meadow Garth, Milton Avenue, Mount Pleasant, Neasden Recreation Ground, Neasden Open Space, Northwick Park, One Tree Hill Recreation Ground, Pilgrims Way (Part of Fryent/Barnhill), Quainton Street ,Preston Park, Rainbow Park, , Roe End Shrubbery, Roe Green Park, Roe Green Village, Roundwood Park, Roundwood Road, Sherrens Farm, Shorts Croft Corner, Silver Jubilee Park, South Kilburn Open Space (Carlton Vale), Springfield Open Space, St Davids Close, St Mary’s Road (Challenge Close), St Raphaels Open Space, Stonebridge Recreation Ground, Streatley Road Pocket Park, Sudbury Court (East Lane /Vale Farm), Tenterden Recreation Ground, The Compass, The Shrine Open Space, Tiverton Playing Field, Tokyngton Recreation Ground(This is Brent River Park) Tubbs Road Pocket Park, Vale Farm Sports Ground, Village Way, Villiers Road, Welsh Harp Open Space, Willesden Sports Ground (King Edward VII recreation ground Willesden), Wilson Drive, Woodcock Park, Woodhouse Urban Park, Wybourne Way. 

You can complete the consultation HERE


Anonymous said...

We wee bit of weeding required but otherwise, sadly required. And I say sadly...I work with homeless in bushes too. Have done for 30 years. 1989 Kennington. I think most of us can manage to weed the wee bits out by consensus.

Sandro said...

Not BB at all. Love the concept & the idea but it will be impossible to police. At a time when the Council are offering voluntary redundancies you'd need at least 20 or more new Council employees to patrol & enforce these rules so I just can't see this ever truly getting off the ground.

Anonymous said...

Interestingly they missed out, having BBQ's, Drug Dealing, Robbery, carrying offensive weapons and Sexual Assault all of which have occurred in King Edward Park in Wembley Central.

Anonymous said...

As Brent Council and Police are under resourced both financially and physically and currently struggling to enforce PSPO's already in place in Wembley Central, I think this is just another consultation time wasting exercise to lure the residents into thinking that they are actually going to do something. Re-instating Park Wardens temporarily or mobile ones that can visit several throughout the day would be a good start, and giving them powers to issue penalty tickets, they could be self funding. The amount of incidents that I have witnessed on one hot day in my local park recently would rake in £££s of revenue. 5 unauthorised vehicles, including Car's, Motorbikes and Scooters and even the Ice Cream Van, 2 BBQ's, Drug Dealing, Urinating in full view of children and parents, wilful damage to trees and benches, the list is endless.