Is it a ‘fair cop’ on street drinking?

News.
News.

Officials have praised the success of a new public spaces protection order (PSPO), claiming that more than 300 people have had alcohol taken off them since January.

According to Boston Borough Council and Lincolnshire Police only 18 of those have reoffended within six months – however, traders in the town say street drinking can still be seen.

Portfolio holder for community safety Coun Stephen Woodliffe praised the success and said: “The key positive outcome so far is that we haven’t had to issue any fines for non-compliance to a request from an authorised officer to stop drinking alcohol within the PSPO.

“This is a massive success. Policing teams have the power to act, which they have, and everyone so far adheres to their requests. What a result.”

However, traders inculding Jeff Greenfields, owner of Bycroft’s Butchers on Dolphin Lane, say its still going on.

Mr Greenfields said: “I’ve seen drinking all over the place. It’s early and late at night. They do not seem to stop drinking. It’s on West Street, Sleaford Road and near Asda, every day. People are falling into your car.”

Insp Jim Manning said: “There has been a noticeable reduction in street drinking in the town centre itself, which is welcome. The purpose of this order was to remove street drinkers from the town centre and it looks like it is working.

“My officers have confiscated alcohol from more than 300 street drinkers since the beginning of the year.

“All drinkers have willingly obliged and many are immediately apologetic for breaking the rules.”

Jen Moore, one of the council’s environmental enforcement team, said: “I have approached street drinkers I have seen and politely told them they should not be doing that.

“They have just as politely apologised and immediately put their can in a litter bin without argument. This shows that people generally are aware of the rules and admit to a fair cop.”

However, traders and shoppers in the town say there is still a noticeable amount of drinking going on.

Robert Hempsall, owner of the China Cabinet in Church Street, said: “I would say there has been an improvement but I have still seen people in the town drinking from a carrier bag hiding what you can see is a bottle.”

Trevor Coddington, owner of J Clark & Sons newsagent on High Street said: “I would not say they (the council) are having a crackdown.

“I had three (drinkers) walk past on Monday morning at 6.30am with tins of lager in their hands.”

Shopper Judith Currah: “The council walks round with its eyes shut. It is still going on. I’ve seen urinating near the bus station, and near the church near the library and behind the council car park.

“They are there drinking at 8am in the morning and in the evening. I’ve seen them sat behind the Stump.”

Anyone failing to stop drinking alcohol, when requested to do so by an officer, could be fined up to £500.

Insp Manning said he still wanted people to report street drinking by calling 101 adding that it would also help build a picture of where the biggest trouble spots might still be.