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Taking psychoactive substances in public spaces


  1. Overview
  2. What you need to know
  3. Penalties
  4. See the Public Spaces Protection Order


There are rules around taking psychoactive substances in public spaces in South Tyneside. 

There is a Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) in place.

This is in place to reduce anti-social behaviour, crime, and to improve the quality of life of people living in the area.

This PSPO is valid for three years from 17 May 2021. This may be extended. 

What you need to know

You must not ingest, inhale, inject, smoke or consume any psychoactive substance in public spaces in South Tyneside, without reasonable excuse.

A psychoactive substance is any substance which is capable of producing a psychoactive effect in a person. 

These substances affect a person's central nervous system and their mental functioning or emotional state.

Examples of psychoactive substances include:

  • Marijuana
  • 'Designer drugs', or 'legal highs' - chemicals which mimic psychoactive substances such as hallucinogenics, sedatives or a combination of drugs. Examples include mephedrone, nitrous oxide (laughing gas) and spice.

This order does not restrict the use of alcohol or caffeine.


If you ignore this PSPO, you are committing an offence and could be fined.

The fine (or 'Fixed Penalty Notice') is £100, or £50 if paid within 7 days.

PSPOs can be enforced by the Police, Police Community Support Officers and any authorised officer of the Council.

If you don't pay the fine, you could be prosecuted. 

More about Public Spaces Protection Orders (PSPOs).

See the Public Spaces Protection Order

Public Spaces Protection Order: Psychoactive substances

Or, download a PDF copy: Public Spaces Protection Order: Psychoactive substances158.36KB

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