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New powers to tackle anti-social behaviour come into force in Sunderland

New powers strengthening Sunderland City Council's ability to clamp down on anti-social behaviour have come into force in the city.

PSPO sign Barnes Park

These include measures to tackle anti-social gatherings in cars and the dangerous driving, speeding, stunts and noise which goes with these. 

The new enforcement measures introduced under the renewal of Sunderland City Council's Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) were approved by the council's Cabinet last month following a public consultation.

First introduced in the city centre in 2017 and extended citywide in 2019, the PSPO gives the council enforcement powers around things like alcohol control, dog control and prohibiting certain behaviour in public spaces.

This includes powers to give a £100 fixed penalty notice to anyone who doesn't comply with measures covered by the order. If this is not paid within 14 days, court action can be taken which could result in a fine of up to £1,000. 

Peter McIntyre, Sunderland City Council's Executive Director of City Development, said: "We know that residents want to see more enforcement action to tackle anti-social behaviour in the city.

"The new powers in force from 1 May will help us clamp down on a range of anti-social behaviour which residents are concerned about and have raised with us."

New measures being introduced on 1 May allow the council to:

  • Ban activities linked with car cruising, including speeding or racing, performing stunts, sounding horns, loud music, using foul or abusive language, using threatening or intimidating behaviour, or causing obstruction. 
  • Ban smoking and vaping in designated play areas 
  • Extend citywide the £100 fixed penalty notice for anyone taking a shopping trolley from a designated retail area  and dumping it in a residential area. 
  • Require dog walkers to reduce the length of a lead, to make sure the dog is under control and at heel when requested by an authorised officer, making it easier for the council to deal quickly and efficiently with the minority of dog owners who behave irresponsibly 
  • Include motorised bikes or scooters in an existing measure preventing the use of a skateboard, scooter, bicycle, self-propelled vehicle or use skates in a manner that would cause damage to property or cause annoyance to other people in the area. 
  • Require people to provide their personal details, including their name, address and DOB to an authorised officer on request 

These join existing powers under the previous PSPO, which include:

  • Consumption of alcohol in a public place, causing or likely to cause anti-social behaviour.
  • The use of psychoactive substances in a public place
  • Restrictions on unauthorised street events on adopted highways.
  • Anti-social use of skateboards, bicycles and stunt bicycles causing damage to property and/or nuisance or annoyance to other persons.
  • Feeding gulls and pigeons
  • Waste on land
  • Bin raking 
  • Urinating and defecating in public places.
  • Spitting and discarding chewing gum
  • Exclusion of dogs from play areas, sport pitches, resort areas, dogs to be placed on leads when requested to do so by an authorised officer, and requirement for dog walkers to be able to produce a suitable means of picking up after their dog

People are also being reminded that dog exclusion zones are back in force on Sunderland beaches from the beginning of May.

The dog exclusion zones which are part of the wider Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) apply to Roker beach and to a limited stretch of beach at Seaburn, between 1 May and 30 September.

For further information on the dog exclusion zones and the area they cover, see:

To report anti-social behaviour:


1 May 2024


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