Cyclist fined for breaching Hemel Hempstead town centre Public Spaces Protection Order

The Public Spaces Protection Order was introduced in July 2019

Friday, 11th June 2021, 10:24 am
Updated Friday, 11th June 2021, 10:26 am

A cyclist has been found guilty of breaching the Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) in Hemel Hempstead town centre.

Ben Baptiste, of Redbourn, St Albans, was prosecuted at St Albans Magistrates Court on Wednesday, June 9.

He was seen riding a bicycle through the pedestrianised area of the Marlowes on July 22, 2020 by an Environmental Enforcement Officer.

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Baptiste was issued a £75 fixed penalty notice for breach of the order but no payment was made. He was subsequently ordered by the court to pay a total of £654 - a fine of £220, a £34 victim surcharge and costs of £400.

Dacorum Borough Council's Enforcement Officers, who are assisted by Hertfordshire Police and Dacorum Safer Neighbourhoods Team, regularly patrol the town centre.

Since the PSPO was introduced on July 29, 2019, the council has issued 50 warnings and 21 fixed penalty notices.

Councillor Julie Banks, portfolio holder for community and regulatory services, said: “This prosecution sends a clear message to those who put others at risk by breaching the Public Spaces Protection Order.

"I am grateful to the court for supporting our view and helping to keep the people of Dacorum safe. Cyclists can avoid the pedestrianised area of Marlowes by diverting along Waterhouse Street.”

PSPOs were introduced by the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 and are designed to allow councils to deal with a particular nuisance or problem behaviour in a particular area (a public space) that is damaging to the local community's quality of life.

Failure to comply with a PSPO could result in a fixed penalty notice fine or prosecution.