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Hemel Hempstead PSPO bans defecating, urinating, spitting and ... cycling in town centre

Dacorum does its bit for decorum ... we can't complain about some of this, but riding a bike?...

Hemel Hempstead, the Hertfordshire town hitherto perhaps best known for the UK’s most confusing roundabout now has a new claim to fame – but a recently introduced Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) there is also attracting attention, given that besides banning defecating or urinating in the street, it also bans cycling, among other things.

PSPOs, likened by the charity Cycling UK to “effectively an ASBO for everyone who cycles” in the parts of town and city centres where they are enforced, have been introduced in a number of places in England, with Bedford, Mansfield and Peterborough among the local authorities to use them to ban cycling in specific areas.

And now, in Hemel Hempstead, if you piss, shit or spit in public, it seems your behaviour is viewed by the council as being as reprehensible as that of people who ride bicycles or skateboards.

Solicitor and former judge Kerry Underwood flagged up the PSPO on Twitter today. The replies are well worth a read.

Here’s what Dacorum Borough Council says about the PSPO on its website:

New orders target anti-social behaviour in the borough

We're introducing two new Public Spaces Protection Orders (PSPOs) to control anti-social behaviour and dog activity in the borough.

Cycling and skateboarding in an area of Hemel Hempstead town centre will carry a £75 fine under the PSPO, which also bans spitting (including discharge of chewing gum), urinating or defecating in a public place.

The other PSPO promotes responsible dog ownership across the borough. This order covers five areas, including failure to pick up after your dog, failure to carry a dog poo bag and failure to keep your dog out of play areas.

Dog owners will be required to keep their dogs three metres away from unfenced play areas in the borough, including the one in Gadebridge Park.

The PSPOs come into effect on Monday 29 July 2019.

Dog owners will be required to keep their dogs three metres away from unfenced play areas in the borough, including the one in Gadebridge Park.

When the PSPO was introduced, Councillor llr Julie Banks, Portfolio Holder for Community and Regulatory Services, said: “Both PSPOs are vitally important to ensure residents can enjoy their community and promote responsible dog ownership. We don't want to stop people enjoying themselves but we do want to tackle the behaviour of the minority whose behaviour has a detrimental impact on the lives of others.”

Simon has been news editor at since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.

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