This joint Sheffield Institute for Policy Studies (SIPS) and Doctoral Training Alliance (DTA) funded PhD explores the introduction of Public Spaces Protection Orders (PSPOs), an anti-social behaviour tool. The use of PSPOs concerns the inclusion of prohibitions and requirements that are effective against all users of the designated public spaces. PSPOs are introduced through a bi-stage test, and the statutory provisions for implementation are notoriously broad, reflecting the localism agenda introduced in the past decade. This has resulted in a negative perception surrounding the PSPO, particularly where orders have been introduced that can be perceived to target vulnerable groups of individuals, such as homeless people.
Using a multiple-case study approach, Benjamin Archer's research examines the processes used by local authorities in introducing a PSPO, specifically exploring the broad scope that is afforded to local authorities in the statute; the way in which these mechanisms found in the statute are interpreted by local authorities in practice. Through the utilisation of semi-structured interviews with local authority employees, police officers and other individuals directly involved with the introduction of a PSPO, this research provides the first sole empirical contribution to knowledge concerning the usage of PSPOs since their introduction in 2014. This research also provides a foundation and scope for future research examining the usage of PSPOs by local authorities.