by David George (@DavidGeorgeMMJ), Sophie Squires (@Squires_Sophie) and Sean Rafferty (@SeanR95)
PEOPLE living on the streets in Southampton could be fined up to £1,000 due to the introduction of new government legislation.
The Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) was first introduced in 2014, but has recently been put into action in Portsmouth, sparking rumours that Southampton could be the next to implement them.
Southampton City Council say that “No Public Spaces Protection Orders have yet been made as we are still within the consultation period. Legislation would allow for a fixed penalty of £100 or a fine on conviction of up to £1,000.”
Chief Executive at the Society of Saint James, Trevor Pickup said: “I was quite surprised, we were invited to a meeting at the council a few months before the consultation started and I was surprised that the council were going to take this forward.
“There’s been campaigns to get members of the public to give money to charity rather than giving it to people begging.
“We’d be quite interested in using that funding to pay for a member of staff to go out onto the streets and spend more time talking to people and explaining to them how they can get into drug treatment programs and encouraging them to take that step.”
Sophie Squires asked the public whether the PSPO legislation was fair on homeless people: