Statement - Home Office decision on buffer zones

Ealing was the first council in the country to introduce a safe zone and it remains in place, but now the government has created a postcode lottery where some women will be protected and others not.  We took our decision based on the harrowing evidence that showed women were being subject to intimidation and harassment by protesters as they entered and left the clinic and the impact his had on our residents.  

Council powers are time limited -  a PSPO can only be in place for three years before we have to go through a further process to extend the order.  So even here where we have a safe zone the clock is counting down on the time left to provide the protection people deserve. 

The Home Secretary should have sent a clear message that it isn’t acceptable to subject people to this sort of intrusion when they are at their most vulnerable. This leaves a lasting impact on those affected.   Since the safe zone was implemented in April, we have seen a dramatic reduction in anti-social behaviour, confirming to us that we were right to take this action and we remain committed to continuing to protect women seeking legally available medical treatment in Ealing.”