New powers to tackle street drinking in Wisbech

PUBLISHED: 12:45 19 October 2017 | UPDATED: 12:45 19 October 2017

New powers to tackle street drinking in Wisbech

New powers to tackle street drinking in Wisbech

Archant

New powers to tackle a town’s street drinking problems come into force tomorrow.

New powers to tackle Wisbech’s street drinking problems came into force on Friday, October 20.

Fenland District Council is introducing a Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) in the town.

The order intends to restrict alcohol consumption in Tillery Fields, St Peter’s Church Gardens and the memorial garden in The Crescent - and enable authorised officers to tackle alcohol-related antisocial behaviour across a wider area covering Wisbech town centre.

It forms part of a wider alcohol action plan being delivered by the council through the Wisbech Alcohol Partnership to address the issues and provide support to dependent drinkers and local residents.

Other initiatives in the 14-point plan include recovery walks from the Inclusion Adult Substance Misuse Treatment Service and recruiting a dedicated outreach worker.

After a successful bid to government, Wisbech has also become a Local Alcohol Action Area, one of only 33 locations in the country, which is working towards reducing the sale of alcohol to people who are drunk.

A Cumulative Impact Zone has also been implemented in the town making it harder to get a licence to sell alcohol, with a number of licences having already been refused through its use.

Issues such as homelessness and poor condition of private rented homes are also being tackled through a partnership approach.

Under the new PSPO, it will be an offence to possess any open containers of alcohol in the three areas. It will also be an offence to drink when asked to stop.

It can be enforced by police officers, community support officers and authorised persons representing the council.

Anyone caught breaching the order could be issued with a Fixed Penalty Notice of £75.

David Oliver, the council’s cabinet member for community safety, said: “We are introducing the PSPO to respond to areas of need in Wisbech that have been impacted by alcohol misuse and harm.

“It will form part of our wider partnership work as it is essential we continue to address this complex issue through both enforcement and ongoing support to alleviate it long-term and ensure people are able to feel safe and enjoy the town.”

2 comments

  • I went into town this afternoon, about 2p.m. I walked past the St Peter's gardens and saw a PCSO speaking to a man with a can of Stella, and watched as he put the can in the bin. About half an hour later I returned and walked past the fish pond, around this feature were 6 -8 people all drinking cans of beer, and further towards the church two more were enjoying some alcoholic refreshment. It was a warm, sunny afternoon, and the drinkers weren't causing any problems, just having a cool drink in the good weather. No sign of the PCSO though.

    Report this comment

    contramundum

    Saturday, October 21, 2017

  • I notice this order doesn't include Wisbech Park which is a notorious area for "problem" drinking and the detritus left behind. Nor of course does it include some private areas such as the Harecroft Rd playing fields or the Octavia Hill garden, both of which seem to have their "street" drinkers. Of course Wisbech is peppered with small alleyways where drinking and associated (mis)behaviour occurs. I suppose what will happen is there will be periodic sweeps of the town, along the lines of bad parking and for most of the time there will be limited enforcementeducation, and like bad parkers if you get caught you can consider yourself unlucky. My other concern is that not everybody who has a can of beer in public is a problem drinker. Who doesn't like a cold one after a day at work and in summer sitting outside in a pleasant park or garden? I can hear the anti-public drinking brigade sharpening up their quills now. Prohibition didn't work in America, in fact it caused an expansion of alcohol consumed (and gangsters and murders - but that's another story). What is needed is education and help for those who are perceived to have a problem, and education for the licence holders who are not allowed to serve drunks anyway or risk their licence. If this order is enforced it will not solve the "problem" but like police patrols and CCTV, merely move it to areas not covered.

    Report this comment

    contramundum

    Friday, October 20, 2017

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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