The impact of enforcement on street users in England

Sarah Johnsen and Suzanne Fitzpatrick

The impact of enforcement on street users in England

Sarah Johnsen and Suzanne Fitzpatrick

Distributed for Bristol University Press

78 pages | © 2007
Paper $29.95 ISBN: 9781847420015 Published July 2007 For sale in North and South America only
Concerns have mounted in recent years about the ’problematic street culture’ sometimes associated with rough sleeping, especially begging and street drinking. There has been a significant shift towards enforcement interventions aimed at the ’street users’ involved in these activities.This report evaluates the impact of these enforcement interventions on the welfare of street users in England. Drawing on evidence from five in-depth case studies, it provides the first research-based exploration of the range of enforcement interventions currently undertaken to address ’street culture’; the circumstances associated with positive and negative outcomes of enforcement action for street users; the extent to which enforcement action is linked to supportive interventions; the impact of enforcement measures on other stakeholders in the local community, and in particular residents and businesses.The report is aimed at policy-makers, practitioners and students in the fields of homelessness, anti-social behaviour and social exclusion. It provides detailed evidence on the impact of enforcement measures on street users, and explores the circumstances and approaches most likely to bring about positive or negative outcomes.



1              Introduction

                Background to the study

                Key enforcement interventions

                Study aims

                Research methods

                Analytical process

                Evaluative approach

                Report structure

2              The case studies: local experience of developing and implementing enforcement interventions


                Origins: the impact of street culture on the local community

                Southwark: ‘escalating enforcement’                                    

                Westminster: ‘enforcement, assistance and communication’

                Brighton: ‘highly targeted enforcement’

                Leeds: ‘zero tolerance’

                Birmingham: ‘police-led enforcement’

                Camden: ‘carrot and stick’


3              Perspectives on enforcement: community, enforcement agent, support provider and street     user views


                Community perspectives

                Enforcement agent perspectives

                Support provider perspectives

                Street user perspectives


4              Merits and demerits of specific enforcement measures




                Arrests for begging

                Arrests for sleeping rough

                Controlled drinking zones

                Dispersal Orders

                Rough sleeping hotspot closure

                Designing out

                Alternate giving schemes

                Regulation of Big Issue vendors


5              When can enforcement benefit street users?


                Potential responses of street users to enforcement

                Impact of policy and practice conditions

                Impact of personal circumstances


6              Conclusions and policy implications



                National and local policy implications


Appendix A: Fieldwork conducted

Appendix B: Interview topic guides





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