Opposers are to challenge the PSPO begging ban in the High Court later this year.
The High Court will hear Labour MP Sarah Ward’s opposition to the legislation on the 26th March.
The PSPO (Public Spaces Protection Order) prevents residents from begging for money, food or drink, and it also bans possession, supply or use of intoxicating substances, as well as leaving unattended belongings.
Sarah announced the court date in a tweet on the 22nd of January, tagging the campaign organisation Liberty.
I have a court date for my case against BCP Council (formally Poole Council) for the punitive use of Public Space Protection Orders against the most vulnerable #endroughsleeping #EndHomelessness #nopspo https://t.co/1GyrzZrroF
— Sarah Ward (@Sarah_Ward50) January 22, 2020
Sarah also commented on her specific objections to the PSPO: “Just to be clear: My case is against the use of PSPO powers which effectively ban rough sleeping.”
Those who are found to be in breach of the PSPO can face fines of up to £100 or even prosecution.
She said: “I have no objection to a ban on aggressive begging.”
A total of 4,500 people signed a petition created online that critiqued the use of £100 fines of rough sleepers and non-aggressive beggars.
The Borough of Poole Council also issued a statement on their use of the legislation.
They commented that the fines aimed to “tackle behaviours that are causing concern and distress to people in the town centre, such as aggressive begging, street drinking.”
Photo by Image by Garry Knight from Flikr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/garryknight/12459375745