Ten convicted as part of enforcement of Kettering’s PSPO

Published: Tuesday, 2nd May 2017

Police and Council team up to reduce anti-social behaviour in town centre

On Tuesday 28th March, Northampton Magistrates Court convicted nine people of breaching the Kettering town centre Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) and refusing to pay the £100 Fixed Penalty Notice. Another offender was also convicted of similar offences on 24th April. Nine of the individuals were given a Criminal Behaviour Order (CBO) which prevents them from consuming alcohol in a public place anywhere within the borough of Kettering; some were also ordered not to beg or solicit money. It is thought that this is the most CBOs issued at once on the back of convictions of this nature, across the UK.  All 10 were fined and ordered to pay costs, as detailed below:

1. Alan Humphries – convicted in absence
Fine - £140; Costs - £646; Victim surcharge – £30.
Total - £816

2. Joseph Martin – convicted in absence
Fine - £140; Costs - £646; Victim surcharge – £30.
Total - £816                 

3. Thomas Murray – convicted in absence
Fine - £140 x 3 offences = £420; Costs - £646; Victim surcharge – £30.
Total - £1096

4. Joanne Rush – convicted in absence
Fine - £140 x 2 offences = £280; Costs - £646; Victim surcharge – £30.
Total - £956

5. Alex Harrald – pleaded guilty 
Fine - £330; Costs - £371 (reduced costs due to refused CBO application); Victim surcharge – £30.
Total - £731

6. Filip Jurys – pleaded guilty and CBO unopposed
Fine - £80; Costs - £646; Victim surcharge – £30.
Total - £756

7. Jody Emerton – convicted in absence
Fine - £140 x 2 offences = £280; Costs - £646; Victim surcharge – £30.
Total - £956

8. Paul Hughes – convicted in absence
Fine - £140 x 2 offences = £280; Costs - £646; Victim surcharge – £30.
Total - £956

9. David Grimshaw – Pleaded guilty
Fine - £140; Costs - £646; Victim surcharge – £30.
Total - £816

10. Daniel Kosmala – Pleaded guilty
Fine - £100; Costs - £250; Victim Surcharge – £30.
Total - £380

The PSPO came into force on 25th July 2016, covering the town centre and adjacent residential areas to the north and east. Police and Kettering Borough Council’s Wardens have been enforcing it tirelessly in order to reduce incidents of anti-social behaviour, such as street drinking and begging.

Since the PSPO’s launch in excess of 20 Fixed Penalty Notices (FPN) have been issued, all of which were to those caught either street drinking and/or begging in the town centre. All individuals were warned about their behaviour in the first instance before an FPN was issued. A further individual is due to appear in court in April for the same matter and refusing to pay the FPN. 

The town centre has seen a rise in homelessness and with that an increase in the frequency of incidents of begging. Kettering Borough Council’s homelessness project ‘Turning Point’ has engaged daily with all those sleeping rough to provide them with ID and rent/deposit funds to secure room rents in Kettering or to provide temporary accommodation. 

Shirley Plenderleith, Head of Public Services at Kettering Borough Council, said: 

“The PSPO gives powers of enforcement to allow us to tackle issues that are particularly relevant to Kettering town centre. The CBOs issued will help prevent this behaviour with the threat of a prison sentence for reoffenders. The Council, together with Northamptonshire Police are seeking to improve the quality of life for residents, businesses and visitors to the town.”

Sergeant Scott Little, from the Safer Community Team said:

“The Police and the Council have worked closely since the PSPO was introduced in Kettering and have conducted a number of joint patrols.  The CBOs being issued for Breach of the PSPO give the Police and Council further powers to deal with problems around street drinking and begging in the town”.

The barrister who presented the case, Haresh Sood, of Counsel of Derwent Chambers, said:

“This is a very significant decision which many local authorities will welcome. I am very pleased that this decision not only criminalises the behaviour, but also deals with the social issues that arise from after effects of such behaviour. We do not want to see problems on our streets which affect the general public especially the elderly, vulnerable and children, therefore, this is a clear message to those causing such problems that their behaviour will be dealt with through the courts”.