Need to have debate on DPPOs

BOSTON Labour councillors have written to the leader of Boston Borough Council calling for a state of the area debate to take place on how Designated Public Place Orders (DPPOs) are run within Boston.

DPPOs are sometimes misleadingly referred to as Alcohol Free Zones, Drinking Control Areas and Drinking/Alcohol Ban Areas. This can be confusing to the people of Boston as the purpose of the legislation is not to ban alcohol in a public area, but to give police the powers to deal with anti-social drinking.

Section 12 of the Criminal Justice and Police Act 2001 provides the police with powers to deal with anti-social drinking in areas that have been designated for this purpose by the relevant local authority under section 13 of the Act. The police (and other accredited persons, under sections 41 and 42 and schedule 5 to the Police Reform Act) have the power to require a person in a DPPO area not to drink alcohol in that area where an officer reasonably believes that the person has, or intends to do so. In addition, an officer has the power to ask that person to surrender the alcohol and any opened or sealed containers in their possession.

There is no statutory requirement to review a DPPO. However, the Home Office advise that they should be evaluated and reviewed as a matter of good practice and suggest that it would be good practice to review the DPPO at least every two years. The aim of an evaluation is to find out whether the DPPO has stopped/helped to reduce alcohol-related anti-social behaviour/disorder.

Boston Labour councillors feel this debate is urgently required as members of the public and residents’ groups are confused as to how the DPPO operates in Boston and urgently wants clarification on the effectiveness of such an order in Boston.

This debate will give the opportunity for members of Boston Borough Council, local residents, local groups and the police the chance to have a proper debate and to have a DPPO in Boston that is effective and understood by all residents of Boston.

We promised in our manifesto that if elected we would raise questions about the existing enforcement of anti-social behaviour occurring while drinking alcohol on our streets.

COUN PAUL GLEESON

Skirbeck ward Boston Borough Council