03 February 2018

Lambeth launches new consultation on public space protection orders

Lambeth has launched a new consultation asking for resident's views on plans to introduce a public space protection order (PSPO) around sexual health clinics offering abortion services in the borough.

The proposals are being looked at by the council after Lambeth Labour tabled a motion calling for greater protection of staff and women using these services at sites in Lambeth. As Cllr Jim Dickson, cabinet member for Healthier and Stronger Communities, outlines in this blog, two clinics in Brixton and Streatham have been regularly picketed by protestors whose behaviour has been described as intimidatory and aggressive. Local residents have also complained about the use of graphic imagery on placards and general disturbance to the local area caused by the protests.

The proposed PSPO will:
  • Prohibit behaviour that intimidates or seeks to dissuade service users from accessing health services in Lambeth or otherwise causes, or is likely to cause, harassment, alarm or distress to such persons. This includes but is not limited to signs, speeches, leaflets, chanting and throwing of water on service users and staff
  • Prohibit the distribution of leaflets and other materials, and speeches, that seek to dissuade service users from accessing services by relaying false information on abortion or otherwise causes, or is likely to cause, harassment, alarm or distress to such persons.
An exclusion zone of 100 metres will then operate around the clinics, with fines of up to £1,000 if there are breached.

You can fill in the consultation here - it will remain open until the 28 February.