People playing music, distributing leaflets, or feeding animals in Harrow town centre could be fined under new measures to curb anti-social behaviour.

Harrow Council’s cabinet agreed last week to introduce a public spaces protection order (PSPO) in the town centre – the area enclosed by Greenhill Way, College Road, Station Road and Sheepcote Road – for the next three years.

It will support the already implemented borough wide PSPO, which can lead to enforcement action against those caught urinating, defecating, spitting, or drinking alcohol in public, with a series of new rules aimed at tackling problem issues.

Under the new scheme, those caught “amplifying music and voice” without permission or “feeding birds and vermin” in the designated area could be given a fixed penalty notice (FPN).

Council officers can also take action against unlicensed street traders, including people encouraging visitors to sign up for financial agreements, as well as those handing out leaflets or putting up street furniture without permission.

According to a report presented to the council’s cabinet, there were some concerns the ban on playing music could impact on positive busking in the town centre.

Officers explained there is an ongoing busking pilot scheme in Harrow town centre to allow it to continue in a “controlled manner”, while street artists will be able to continue to perform in other parts of the borough “as long as not causing nuisance”.

Councillors were also keen to stress that the PSPO would not act as a money maker for the council, with the need to “change behaviour and lead to compliance, rather than seek continual enforcement” seen as the key course of action.

Furthermore, any money collected through FPNs would be offset against the running of the programme, with any surplus funds ringfenced to support environmental improvement initiatives in the borough.