New measures introduced to tackle anti-social behaviour
New measures to tackle anti-social behaviour at a popular Teesdale beauty spot have come into force.
Durham County Council has introduced a Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) in the
area around High Force, Low Force and Gibson’s Cave.
The areas form part of the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and
UNESCO Global Geopark and are designated sites of special scientific interest.
Following extensive consultation, which strongly supported the PSPO, the council hopes
the measure will help protect the landscape after a large influx of visitors throughout the
Cllr John Shuttleworth, Cabinet member for highways, rural communities and community
safety, said: “While the majority of visitors are well behaved, an increase in anti-social
behaviour by a minority of people is impacting on the environment and spoiling the
enjoyment of the area for others.
“We hope the new PSPO powers will encourage people to enjoy these beautiful locations
safely and responsibly and help us to protect them for generations to come.”
Issues have included problems with alcohol and substance use, leaving litter and waste,
the irresponsible use of barbecues, graffiti and jumping from cliffs and bridges.
The PSPO is enforceable between 1 April and 30 September each year, for the next three
During those dates, it is an offence to:
continue to drink alcohol when asked to stop
be under the influence of controlled drugs
light a fire or barbecue
behave in a way that causes or is likely to cause harassment, obstruction or
concern for safety to others, including congregating in a group
threaten and/or abuse people
throw objects which can cause damage, nuisance, or injury to any person, animal orstructure
camp or sleep overnight
Where the PSPO is breached, designated council officers and Durham Constabulary staff
will be able to issue a Fixed Penalty Notice, with failure to pay leading to prosecution.
Cllr Mark Wilkes, Cabinet member for neighbourhoods and climate change, said: “There is
so much to see and do in County Durham and it is important that everyone can use and
enjoy our public spaces safely and free from anti-social behaviour.
“It is also important that we all do more to protect our communities and environments.
That’s why the PSPO is just one measure we’ll be taking to encourage responsible
behaviour. We will also be continuing to work with our partners to increase security and
monitoring, as well as helping to further educate people about the dangers of anti-social
Meanwhile, a PSPO has also been renewed in Durham City, banning the consumption of
alcohol in specific parts of the city centre.
The measure first came into force in 2019 and, following consultation, has been extended
for a further three years until 30 June 2025.
More information about the new enforcement powers in Teesdale can be found at