Council to consult on details for new ‘booze ban’

Herbert Ingram Memorial area of Boston where people congregate to drink alcohol.
Herbert Ingram Memorial area of Boston where people congregate to drink alcohol.

An outright ban on street drinking in Boston town centre is one step closer - with residents now urged to speak out over the matter.

New police powers, which came into force on Monday, mean officers will be better equipped to tackle street drinkers and can prosecute repeat offenders.

At Boston Borough Council’s environment and performance committee on Thursday, members discussed introducing a Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) in a designated area of the town.

If the ban goes ahead, on-the-spot fines can be issued by police and council officers to those who fail to comply with requests to stop drinking.

“Repeat offenders can be banned from the town centre,” said Insp Jim Manning. “It’s quite a drastic step and not one we would take lightly.”

Coun Paul Goodale said some people who regularly drink in the street do so because they have no communal areas in at their homes.

“They don’t have anywhere to drink in their homes as every room is a bedroom,” he said.

Members agreed drink-related anti-social behaviour is an issue in the town.

“Drunk and disorderly is the most common thing we arrest people for here,” added Insp Manning.

The drinking ban zone will take in the town centre, including the lower High Street area and along the River Witham, taking in Witham Way Country Park.

The council will be undertaking a second consultation on the proposed ban - and are urging the public to take part.

The first consultation showed 94 per cent were in favour of a ban but a second is needed to ask if people’s view on the details of the scheme.

Officer Peter Hunn said: “We will be asking for their views in relation to the designated area and the legislation.”

If the ban is brought in, new warning signs will be erected at the entrances to the designated town centre area.

The PSPO can also be used to tackle people taking legal highs, prostitution, urinating and defecating, kerb-crawling, cottaging, dogging, begging, ‘boy racers’, buskers, flytipping and aggressive charity collectors, among others.

If given the final go-ahead by full council on December 1, the earliest the ban could be brought in is January, 2015.