“Anti lout’ law used to ban gathering

December 2014

Live events sector


A new ‘anti-lout’ law to stop large mobs of people gathering will be used for the first time to ban 500 boy racers from meeting at a retail park. The Public Spaces Protection Order, which became law on 20 October, gives town halls sweeping new powers to outlaw any activity which may have a ‘detrimental effect’ on the quality of local life.  The Daily Mail reports that “Initially intended to clamp down on antisocial behaviour such as begging and spitting, council officers can put up signs banning an activity in a specified area, either round the clock or during specific hours.” Anybody flouting the order will be liable for an on-the-spot fine, normally ranging from £70 to £100, issued by a police officer, PCSO, council worker or private security guard employed by the local Town Hall. Colchester Council, in Essex, plans to become the first to use the law to make the car park at Turner Rise Retail Park in Colchester the subject of the Public Spaces Protection Order. It will be the first time the new order has been imposed, and it will outlaw non-customers from the car park between 6pm and 6am. It also requires them to leave within 20 minutes. The move comes after 500 car buffs used the retail park as a meeting place twice in the last seven months, and were accused of revving their engines noisily, playing loud music and doing ‘doughnuts’.



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