Ealing Council has confirmed that Ealing’s Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) is to be extended for another three years following consultation with residents across the borough. It says more than 800 residents and businesses took part in the consultation with 90% supporting the extension.
The current PSPO ran until this month and was first introduced in 2019.
According to the Labour-run council, it helps police and council officers combat anti-social behaviour such as littering, urinating in public, verbal abuse, spitting, street drinking and illegal drug use.
Council leader Peter Mason said: “The people of Ealing have told us they still regard anti-social behaviour as a problem. We’ve listened and acted, by renewing the order to redouble our efforts to tackle criminal and anti-social behaviour across the borough.”
The council also says that having PSPO’s promotes public safety for residents and visitors to the borough and since being introduced in 2019 covers Ealing’s public spaces which include park, town centres and housing estates.
Fines imposed on those who break a PSPO are £100 and if not paid can involve court proceedings where the fine can be increased up to £1,000.
Councillor Aysha Raza, Ealing Council’s cabinet member for tackling inequality, said: “This kind of behaviour will not be tolerated in our community. Residents are rightly proud of our borough and our environment, and want to maintain it.”
Superintendent Anthony Bennett of the Metropolitan Police added: “We see it as forming a key part of our violence reduction strategy in Ealing. Agreeing the order for the whole of the borough will help address displacement. We know that if only part of a location is covered, those looking to drink alcohol in open spaces will just move to another area.”
Ealing Council opposition party Liberal Democrats welcome PSPO’s but they say more work needs to be done in how they are enforced.
Lib Dem Councillor Athena Zissimos who represents Hanger Hill told EALING.NEWS of her concerns including aggressive begging on Hanger Lane Gyratory and residents not seeing action after they report issues.
‘Part of the PSPO order does cover aggressive begging and not interfering with a Highway, but somehow that does not seem to apply to Hanger Lane Gyratory where there is aggressive begging on a regular basis. The police and the Council are powerless it seems in finding a way of tackling the problem.”
Councillor Zissimos also highlighted incidents that have happened to her as well as to others who travel through the area. “On the Gyratory, I have been approached countless times by a male wavering in front of my car, by my side window asking for money and invading my personal space. I am constantly told by all concerned, that it is not the crime of the century with a shrug of their shoulder. It may not be the crime of the century, but it makes me, and I know other drivers uncomfortable and weary if not frightened, it should not be this way. Quite apart from propping a system that is organising the begging.”
Councilor Zissimos says the Council, Transport for London and police need to work better together in tackling issues across the borough which also includes drag racing. “There have been reports of drag racing for a long time in around the Gyratory, the A40 and the Park Royal Industrial Estate with limited police and council resources there. Both the police and the Council need to do better, to take advantage of the PSPO.”
The councillor also highlighted that people may stop reporting activities if they don’t see any action being taken. “The Council would like people to report anti-social behaviour, people may report it once or twice, but they will not report the third time, if nothing changes, I do hope with the extending PSPO something does change for the residents of Hanger Hill and across Ealing.”