People can be fined for hanging in groups of two and loitering in Woodford Green, Wanstead and South Woodford

Groups of two or more people will be fined if they do not move when asked by police. Picture: Fiona

Groups of two or more people will be fined if they do not move when asked by police. Picture: Fiona Hanson - Credit: PA Archive/PA Images

Groups of two or more people can now be fined if they refuse to leave Woodford Green, Wanstead and South Woodford as part of a drive to tackle anti-social behaviour.

Redbridge Council confirmed it has given extra powers to police in the form of a Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) to help officers deal with problems that are "detrimental to the local community's quality of life".

As well as groups loitering, residents and visitors can not drink alcohol, beg, spit or urinate in the designated zone.

Unauthorised events are also prohibited from taking place and organisers need to first obtain permission from the Redbridge Council's safety advisory group if they want to hold sessions in a public or open space.

A Redbridge Council spokesman said: "PSPOs are used to help tackle anti-social behaviour, with the aim of ensuring public spaces can be enjoyed free from anti-social behaviour.

"We use PSPOs to control behaviour that is either having or is likely to have a harmful effect on a local communities quality of life.

"PSPOs are introduced under the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014, which gives Local Authorities the power to restrict certain behaviours within a specified area.

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"Breach of a PSPO without a reasonable excuse is an offence."

The protection order in the west part of the borough commenced in October following a public consultation which closed on May 31 2019.

The zone is not the first anti-social order applied to Redbridge and there is also one in place in Ilford town centre, and a prostitution PSPO in Ilford Lane.

In addition, there is also an order for dog owners, which prohibits residents from walking more than six dogs at any one time, ensures the furry beasts are kept on a lead, and any fouling is cleared up.

The spokesman added: "The PSPO will enable police and council officers to issue a Fixed Penalty Notice to the sum of £100 to those that are failing to comply with the order.

"This must be paid within 14 days or the offender may be prosecuted."

The order for a zone will last for a period of three years unless revoked by the council.