Amendment to Public Space Protection Order
References to ‘rough sleepers’ are being removed from Hackney's Public Space Protection Order so that it more clearly reflects the anti-social behaviour the Order is targeting and the course of action that could be taken.
The Council will continue to tackle anti-social behaviour in the area through a combination of support and enforcement. It will continue to work with the homeless charity Thames Reach to try to help vulnerable people off the street in this small area of Hackney.
People were understandably concerned by inaccurate headlines, despite the Council making it clear that this Order was not about targeting homeless people. Nor was it the Council's response to homelessness. Anyone sleeping rough in Hackney is always offered a bed and the support and help they need. The Order was never intended to punish people who have fallen on hard times, been evicted and found themselves without a roof over their heads.
It was designed to tackle persistent anti-social behaviour in the area and nudge a handful of people who have resisted all attempts to help them off the street and out of a life of addiction. Working with street beggars, street drinkers and entrenched rough sleepers who have refused help and support is vital in both helping them and resolving unacceptable behaviour which is having a real impact on residents, businesses and visitors. Enforcement was always going to be the last resort. The point of the order was to push people into treatment, and if necessary we would seek injunctions rather than fines. We have decided to remove the reference from the Order so our intentions are clearer.
We will continue to tackle anti-social behaviour, through a combination of support and enforcement, on behalf of our residents who deserve to be able to use our streets and parks without fear of anti-social behaviour or abuse and we will continue to work with Thames Reach to support vulnerable people