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Proposed PSPO for Brick Lane

More information about the proposed public spaces protection order for the Brick Lane area.

Brick Lane PSPO

Area included in the PSPO area

This area outlined in blue shows the area covered by the Brick Lane PSPO consultation.



Brick Lane from Old Montague Street to Bethnal Green Road and extending approximately 100m into the adjacent side streets, to include:

  • Old Montague Street
  • Wentworth Street
  • Hopetown Street
  • Frostic Walk
  • Chicksand Street
  • Fashion Street
  • Henage Street
  • Fournier Street
  • Princelet Street
  • Wilkes Street
  • Hanbury Street
  • Buxton Street
  • Code Street
  • Blackmans Yard / Grimsby Street
  • Sclater Street
  • Bacon Street
  • Cygnet Street
  • Chilton Street
  • Code Street
  • Allen Gardens Park


  • Osborn Street
  • Cheshire Street, up to and including Wood Close
  • The Flower and Dean Estate, including: Flower and Dean Walk, Thrawl Street and Nathaniel Close
  • Granby Street, Goldman Close, Fuller Close, Kerbala Street, Bentworth Court
  • St Matthews Row and St Matthews Churchyard.

Behaviour restricted by the PSPO 

  • Shouting, swearing and behaviour causing annoyance harassment alarm or distress
  • Touting and soliciting business
  • Urinating or defecating in public places
  • Begging for money and other items
  • Busking and amplified sound – We are not banning busking, but are limiting the impact this is having on local residents and their quality of life

No person shall busk, perform for the purpose of entertainment or play music on the public highway between 9pm and 8am within the restricted area.

No person shall busk, perform for the purpose of entertainment or play music on the public highway for a period exceeding 30 minutes. After this time they must move to another location more than 100m away and not return to a location within two hours.

No person shall use a loudspeaker or amplification by electronic means on the public highway, within the a restricted area

  • Alcohol consumption

It is not an offence to drink alcohol in a controlled drinking zone. However, it is an offence to fail to comply with a request by an authorised person, to cease drinking or surrender alcohol in a controlled drinking zone. If alcohol is confiscated, it can be disposed of by the person who confiscates it.


The Order will be enforced by officers from the Metropolitan Police and officers from Tower Hamlets council. 

Any person who, without reasonable excuse, fails to comply with the prohibitions within a PSPO area commits an offence. This may be dealt with by the issue of a Fixed Penalty Notice or fine. The police and us may also use their other actions and powers to prevent anti-social behaviour within the PSPO area. This enforcement action could be a warning or extend to legal proceedings in court. The enforcement is dependent on the level or severity of anti-social behaviour and the perpetrators previous history of anti-social behaviour.

Are we targeting the homeless?

Begging for money or other items is a prosecutable offence. Most beggars in Tower Hamlets are housed and in receipt of benefits but are begging to fund a drug or alcohol problem. If we pursue enforcement action against someone from the borough with drug or alcohol problems, the action will include positive conditions, such as attending drug or alcohol treatment or engaging with support services.

Where we identify a genuinely homeless person or someone experiencing issues with benefits, they will be referred to the appropriate support agency.

When we were initially discussing the idea of a PSPO, complaints regarding urinating and defecating in public were generally associated with a minority using the Brick Lane night time economy and being people under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Further details

A copy of the Order and associated documents can be viewed by the public, by appointment between Monday and Friday at Tower Hamlets Town Hall, Mulberry Place, 5 Clove Crescent, London, E14 2BG. The nearest station is Blackwall DLR Station.

For information about the PSPO contact Caroline Watts on 020 7364 3134 or caroline.watts@towerhamlets.gov.uk

How challenge or extend the PSPO decision

The public consultation period, ended on 7 December 2016, however postal responses were received and accepted after this date.

The ASB team are completing the required administration work prior to implementing the PSPO.

After the implementation of the PSPO, any challenge to this order must be made in the High Court by an interested person within six weeks of it being made. An interested person is someone who lives in, regularly works in, or visits the restricted area. This means that only those who are directly affected by the restrictions have the power to challenge. The right to challenge also exists where an order is varied by the us.

Interested persons can challenge the validity of the order on two grounds:

  1. that we did not have the power to make the order, or to include particular prohibitions or requirements;
  2. that one of the requirements of the legislation, for instance consultation, has not been complied with.

When an application is made the High Court can decide to suspend the operation of the order pending the Court’s decision, in part or in totality. The High Court has the ability to uphold the order, quash it, or vary it.

Responses to the PSPO proposal

There were 404 responses to the survey: 283 were received by post and 121 were completed using the website. The respondents were mainly local people living or working within, or close to the area.

87% of people responding to the survey stated that anti-social behaviour in the proposed PSPO area was affecting or detrimental to their quality of life. The majority of these respondents were residents.

84% of people responding to the survey believed the PSPO would be an appropriate method to reduce anti-social behaviour.

4% of people responding to the survey did not think it appropriate or objected to the PSPO.

Many people contacted us and asked for the area to be extended.

How we are tackling graffiti

At the commencement of the public consultation a few people contacted us by email and raised concerns around graffiti and street art within the Brick Lane area.  The number of people reporting graffiti under other ASB, was recorded as 12 responses or around 3% of respondents.

However, there is some very attractive street art around Brick Lane, which is an attraction for the area.  Any person participating in graffiti may be charged with criminal damage, under the Criminal Damage Act 1971. The Council also has a policy of removing any offensive or hate related graffiti within 24 hours of it being reported.

How we are tackling loitering and obstructing behaviours

Around one third of ‘other ASB’ reports were loitering or obstructive type behaviours. These included: rough sleeping, loitering, prostitution and sexual activity, obstruction, guided tours and youth loitering. This was not specifically addressed in the proposed PSPO or survey and an additional clause was considered and has been added due to the survey responses.

CCTVin the Brick Lane area

There were 14 responses requesting CCTV. The Brick Lane area has the highest concentration of CCTV in the borough. These cameras are continuously recording and are routinely monitored and police are advised if there is a serious or potentially serious incident.

How to report ASB

People experiencing anti-social behaviour are advised to call the Police non-emergency number 101 to report ASB – but in an emergency dial 999 immediately. These calls are logged (callers are advised to note the reference for any follow ups) and prioritised for a police response.  A report is sent to local the local Neighbourhood Policing Team if they are not on duty or available to receive the report. The calls are all logged and input into an ASB report which is discussed at a bi-weekly meeting of senior Council and Police officers and assists in the allocation of resources. Therefore police, THEO or other resources are allocated to areas where there are a higher number of reports.

How to get involved in community groups to tackle ASB

The Neighbourhood Policing Teams have Ward Panels to discuss ASB & Policing issues with local people every 2 – 3 months. These are advertised on the Metropolitan Police website.

You may also email your local Neighbourhood Policing Team: