The Anti-social behaviour, crime and policing Act 2014 - Public spaces protection orders - gating of highways, introduced new tools and powers for use by council’s and their partners to address anti-social behaviour and become law on 20th October 2014.
This legislation affected Highways Act 1980 Gating Orders in that these Orders will be subsumed within the new 2014 legislation and be re-designated. Hence, Gating Orders will continue as the wider scope of Public Space Protection Orders (PSPO’s).
Orders under this legislation are temporary up to a maximum of 3 years. However upon review these may be extended.
How does a highway PSPO work?
From time to time we receive complaints from members of the public whose lives are continually disrupted by anti-social behaviour on public paths and consequently request the gating of the access. To establish the extent of the problem we are likely to refer the complaints to the Police to establish what crimes and anti-social behaviour has been recorded by them through residents complaints. Thus, it is essential that all instances are reported to the Police.
Specifically to highways , including public rights of way, we must consider:
- The likely effect of the order on the occupiers of the premises adjoining and adjacent the highway.
- The likely effect on the making of the Order
- In a case where the highway consists of a through rout , the availability of a reasonably convenient route.
Since powers under PSPO’s are very wide ranging, we may conclude, upon evidence and advise, that PSPO’s restricting access should only be introduced where the ASB is facilitated by the use of the right of way, otherwise it may be more appropriate that the Order be focused on the problem behaviour instead.
If you would like to like to speak to us regarding the possibility of a PSPO public right of way order, please contact Dudley Council Plus. Note, gating is normally only practical where the boundaries to the public rights of way are solid features without ways to easily by-pass them.
This legislation relates to public highway, not private access ways (private access ways may include Council Housing estate paths). For details on the latter you are advised to refer to the deeds of the property and, if necessary, the Coventry Land Registry.
Public path orders
Details of all orders and all proposed making, varying and revocation of orders is kept and maintained by us. Details of the Public Rights of Way Orders are available online.
What if the closure causes me unnecessary inconvenience?
We have to be satisfied that residents and members of the public who use the relevant highway would not be inappropriately inconvenienced by its gating. We need to be satisfied that alternative routes exist. The health implications of the order have to be considered as gating orders could potentially encourage the use of cars if the alternative routes are too long or lack pedestrianised sections. This has to be balanced against the health impacts facing pedestrians from the ongoing crime or anti-social behaviour.
Further information on crime prevention is available on our Dudley Community Safety Partnership pages.