Saturday, August 15, 2015

England Passed a Law That Can Make Skateboarding Totally Illegal

Last October, England passed a new law called Public Spaces Protection Orders (PSPOs). This law can be used to ban any activity that the city deems to have a detrimental effect on the quality of life of locals. At its core, street skating is based around utilizing objects like ledges, benches, handicap ramps, and the like in non-traditional, possibly disruptive, ways, making it a primary target of PSPOs.

Once in place, a PSPO makes skateboarding or even walking through a certain area at night illegal. A person can receive an on-the-spot fine of up to £100 and, if prosecuted or convicted, can face a fine up to £1,000 and end up with a permanent criminal record.

This is obviously unnerving to anyone who’s ever skateboarded. Imagine you were walking home from a friend’s house at night, carrying your board, and were stopped and immediately fined and given a court date—as ridiculous as it sounds, this sort of thing is legal under the PSPO law.

As The Independent reports, skaters in the town of Kettering fought this law by collecting 3,000 signatures from people in favor of removing skateboarding from the list of PSPOs—which also propose to bar juveniles from the town center between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m.

This Orwellian law obviously infringes on basic human rights and sets a scary precedent. If laws like this become the norm all over the world, it could mean the end of street skating as we know it.

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