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Enforcement powers for anti-social behaviour at High and Low Force


A Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) means we can fine people for anti-social behaviour in an area around High and Low Force.

Background information

High and Low Force, Gibson's Cave, and the surrounding area have seen a large growth in visitors since the first lockdown in spring 2020. Many are well behaved, but unfortunately there has also been an increase in behaviour that impacts on this fragile and special environment, in particular after alcohol and substance use.

This behaviour includes irresponsible use of BBQs, leaving litter and waste, graffiti, jumping from cliffs and bridges, and aggressive and lewd behaviour.

What the PSPO means if you visit High or Low Force

It is an offence if you:

  • continue to drink alcohol when asked to stop by an authorised person (our staff, a neighbourhood warden or police officer)
  • are under the influence of controlled drugs or other psychoactive substances
  • light a fire or barbecue
  • behave in a way, including congregating in a group, that causes or is likely to cause, harassment, obstruction or concern for safety to other people
  • threaten and/or abuse people
  • throw objects which can cause damage, nuisance, or injury to any person, animal or structure
  • camp or sleep overnight

Map of the PSPO area

Map of area covered by Anti-social Behaviour Order, covering Low Force, High Force, and Gibson's Cave

Enforcement and penalties

Neighbourhood wardens, our trained staff and Durham Constabulary have the power to issue a fine (fixed penalty notice) of £100 for failing to follow the PSPO. The fine is reduced to £60 if it is paid within ten working days of issue. If the FPN is not paid, you will be taken to court. The maximum fine is £1,000.