Homelessness and public spaces

CPN appeal – begging ban 

Posted on 18 May 2022

Liberty acted as lawyers for a woman who had been given a Community Protection Order (CPN) that forbade her from begging and even going into a show “without a valid reason”.

Liberty challenged the Metropolitan Police for their decision to issue the CPN. Liberty said that the Metropolitan Police breached the human rights of their client by issuing her with the notice. Liberty argued that the police had failed to issue the CPN correctly, having copied and pasted its terms rather than suggest the client was doing anything to actually require the sanction. They also failed to give her adequate warning, as required by law, and provided no evidence that she had engaged in the behaviour the CPN was supposed to deter.

Among other legal arguments, Liberty said the terms of the CPN breach the client’s right to human dignity, privacy and freedom of expression, and requested that the CPN be scrapped.

The case had been due to go to a court hearing on Monday 21 March, but two days before the final hearing, the police finally realised that their attempt to criminalise Liberty’s client through an overly broad CPN was bound to fail and have now dropped all sanctions against the woman.

The judge who was due to hear the case, DJ Laws, accepted the withdrawal of the appeal made the following remarks:

“Clearly these are draconian provisions which must be applied with a degree of humanity and proportionality. The Respondent will no doubt think carefully before imposing another notice in similar terms, which seem to me rather lurid and wide ranging.”

I'm looking for advice on this

Did you know Liberty offers free human rights legal advice?

What are my rights on this?

Find out more about your rights and how the Human Rights Act protects them

Did you find this content useful?

Help us make our content even better by letting us know whether you found this page useful or not

Need advice or information?