POLICE have spoken out about public concerns over street drinking in Boston.
Following The Standard’s story last week about drinking and anti-social behaviour around the Herbert Ingram Memorial, police are calling for the public to help them deal with those responsible.
Sgt Gary Joynes, supervisor for the neighbourhood policing team, said: “Our powers are geared towards preventing anti-social behaviour and dealing with it when it occurs. But if people don’t report incidents to us we won’t know about them. It’s important people give us statements as there has to be a degree of co-operation with us.”
In relation to the Herbert Ingram Memorial he said part of the reason bushes were removed was to give a better view on the CCTV.
“One of our standing tasks is to patrol the area as and when we can,” he said.
“Complaints we’ve had in the past have been mainly about the Witham Bank area, and we worked with the borough council to get the benches removed there. An area in Carlton Road was also a hotspot, and similarly the bench was removed there, significantly reducing the problems there.
“I understand it might be unsettling for some people to see others drinking in the town centre, but there’s no law against someone sitting quietly and having a drink.”
However, Sgt Joynes said police are aware of what he called a ‘hardcore group of individuals’ who regularly drink on the benches there, but added police have the powers to move them on if they start to cause trouble.
Section 27 of the violent crime reduction act 2006, gives the police powers to move people away from an area if there is a risk of disorder.
Sgt Joynes said he believes these new powers have contributed to what he calls ‘a significant reduction’ in town-centre alcohol-related crime over the last few years.
He explained that one measure police take to help to reduce alcohol-related disorder, is to consult with the Crown Prosecution Service to issue banning orders to those convicted for a drink-related offence.
“We can apply to the courts for this, even just for an offence like urinating,” Sgt Joynes said. “It would ban them from drinking in a public place or buying alcohol from local shops.”
l Reports incidents on 101.