Consultation on Proposal for an Extension of the existing Public Space Protection Order for Romford Town Centre

Closed 20 Aug 2023

Opened 27 Jul 2023


On the 20th September 2017 the Council made a decision to introduce a Public Space Protection Order (referred to as a ‘PSPO’) for Romford Town Centre. This was named the London Borough of Havering (Romford Town Centre) Public Space Protection Order No 1 of 2017. This replaced the previous Designated Public Place Order which controlled the consumption of alcohol within the Town Centre requiring individuals to surrender any open containers of alcohol to a Police Officer or Police Community Support Officer on request.  The original Order was in effect from the 23rd October 2017 for a period of 3 years. A 3 year extension to the order was agreed and came into effect until 23rd October 2023. 

The existing PSPO prohibits the following activities:

1. Persons must not be in possession of an open container of alcohol in a public place within the Alcohol Control Area (save on licensed premises);

2. Persons must not consume alcohol in a public place within the Alcohol Control Area (Save on licensed premises).  

Breaching the terms of the PSPO without reasonable excuse is a criminal offence. This means either a Fixed Penalty Notice can be issued or prosecution can commence and if found guilty may be liable to summary conviction by a level 3 fine.

Under section 60 (2) of the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime & Policing Act 2014, the Council now wishes to apply for an extension of the period of time the Order is in effect before it expires. Under section 72 (1) and (3) of the Anti-Social Behaviour Crime and Policing Act 2014, the law requires the Council to carry out the necessary publication and public consultation to obtain your views of the proposal to extend the existing PSPO before a final decision is made to do so.

The Proposal

The extension of the PSPO is proposed to continue on the same terms and around the same Plan of the Town Centre area as contained within the existing Order as referred to above. 

The Town Centre area will continue to be designated an “Alcohol Control Area” as set out in the proposed PSPO Plan below (and in the attached Appendix 1). 

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The restrictions which are proposed to continue are:

  1. Not to consume alcohol within the Alcohol Control Area (save on licensed premises or on a designated area where a pavement licence is in force); and
  1. Not to be in possession of an open container of alcohol within the Alcohol Control Area (save on licensed premises or on a designated area where a pavement licence is in force).

The PSPO will not affect the possession or consumption of alcohol in clubs, pubs and bars and other businesses licensed to serve alcohol, and will not affect the purchase of alcohol from off-licences within the Town Centre for consumption elsewhere. It only applies to public places.  It will also not affect businesses who wish to apply for a pavement licence under The Business and Planning Act 2020 or if one exists under Part 7A of the Highways Act 1980.

Why your views matter

Since the existing PSPO has been in place, the Council has also implemented the following measures:  

  • Additional police patrols and the introduction of dedicated town centre police team
  • Partnership working with licensed premises through Safe and Sound scheme to stop drinks promotions that encourage excessive drinking
  • Extensive provision of CCTV in Romford Town Centre Ring Road, introduction of door supervisor briefings by police
  • Task and targeting work to identify and support problematic street drinkers and signpost to appropriate services to help them with any addictions.

However these measures alone are insufficient and the alternative tools set out above under the Anti-Social Behaviour Crime and Policing Act 2014 are inappropriate in dealing with the wider problem of alcohol related crime, nuisance and anti-social behaviour within the town centre. 

The Council considers it is reasonable to extend the existing PSPO since the prohibitions relate to all individuals, alcohol can be disposed and seized of by Council Officers and the Police and the Order can last for a further period of upto three years which will be an effective way of dealing with the problem.  The Council can also enforce any breach of the PSPO through Fixed Penalty Notice or by issuing a Summons in the Magistrates Court.

The Police have confirmed to the Council that although dispersal powers can be used, they are ineffective in the long term in dealing with problematic street drinking and the prohibitions within the existing PSPO have proved to be more effective and useful in dealing with the relevant behaviour particularly as the town centre has issues with homelessness and street drinkers.

An extension of the existing PSPO is the main tool that the Council will continue to use to prevent problematic drinking and associated crime and anti-social behaviour in addition to safeguarding vulnerable individuals.

Havering Council invites the views and response to the questions of all interested persons as part of its consultation on the proposed extension of the PSPO.


  • Residents


  • Residents