History of PSPOs in Merton
Public spaces protection orders (PSPOs) were introduced by the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 (the 2014 Act).
In 2013 we made the Alcohol Consumption in Designated Public Places London Borough Merton Order 2013 (the DPPO), which created a borough-wide "controlled drinking zone". In 2017 the DPPO transitioned into a PSPO under the provisions of the 2014 Act.
In October 2020 we made the London Borough of Merton (Alcohol Consumption in Public Places) Order 2020 (the 2020 Order) which applied to five wards within the borough. The wards were Cricket Green, Figges Marsh, Graveney, Lavender Fields and Ravensbury. That order was due to last for two years but was extended before it expired and was intended to remain in force until October 2025, subject to any further order (see below).
Merton's 2023 PSPO
After reviewing all the available data and evidence of anti-social behaviour related to the public consumption of alcohol within the borough, we considered whether a borough-wide order is necessary.
As part of the process, on 19 December 2022 we launched a 10-week consultation which sought to ascertain views on whether a new borough wide order was necessary or if some less extensive PSPO was more appropriate. In addition, what prohibitions and requirements any new order should impose.
Following a meeting of Cabinet on the 20 March 2023 a new order, with the same prohibitions, but to cover the whole borough was approved.
A new order was made on 21 June 2023 and will come into force on the 25 July 2023.
This means that the 2022 order as extended has been discharged and ceases to have effect on at 2400 hours on 24 July 2023 and from 0001 hours on 25 July 2023 order will apply all the controls (setting out what they are) across the borough, subject to the exceptions in the 2023 order.
Under section 66 of the 2014 Act any individual who lives in, regularly visits or works in the borough, may challenge the validity of the order by applying to the High Court within 6 weeks of the date the order was made. A copy of the order can be found below:
Effect of the 2023 order
The 2023 order prohibits the consumption of alcohol so as to cause, or be likely to cause nuisance or annoyance to any other person, within public places within the 5 wards, excluding certain specified premises.
It also gives authorised officers of the council and the police the power to:
- require an individual to stop drinking alcohol (or anything reasonably believed to be alcohol) in public where the individual is causing or likely to cause nuisance or annoyance; or
- confiscate alcohol (or anything reasonably believed to be alcohol).
Anyone who does not comply with the request to stop drinking, or surrender any alcohol, will be issued with a £100 fixed penalty notice (FPN). This must be paid within 14 days to avoid prosecution. There is no discount for early payment. If the fixed penalty is not be paid and we prosecute, on conviction the court may impose a fine of up to £500 and order our costs to be paid. Anyone who does not stop drinking, or surrender any alcohol, may be required to provide their name or address. It is an offence to refuse to do so, or to give a false, or inaccurate, name or address. Anyone who commits such an offence will be issued with a £100 FPN. There is no discount for early payment. If the fixed penalty is not be paid within 14 days we may prosecute. On conviction the court may impose a fine of up to £1,000 and order our costs to be paid.