A Boston police chief has challenged critics of the force’s actions over street drinking to ‘come out with me and we will show you exactly what we do’.
Community Inspector for Boston Andy Morrice has responded to comments from readers following a story published online last week about more persistent street drinkers being taken to court.
Readers drew attention to the fact that the four people who have so far been before the courts have been English and questioned why the same action had not been taken against other nationalities.
They also pointed to locations around Boston where they believed street drinking was a regular occurrence – including Central Park, Haven Bank, Burgess Pit and even outside the police station in Lincoln Lane – and said officers were not doing enough to target the issue.
Insp Morrice said he was aware of the public’s concerns around street drinking which is why the police and other authorities put resources into tackling the issue.
He said: “I assure you that we deal with all nationalities, but those prosecuted to date represent those who are most frequently caught in breach.
I challenge any one of you to come out with me and my staff for the day, and we will show you exactly what we do.Community Inspector for Boston Andy Morrice
“I challenge any one of you to come out with me and my staff for the day, and we will show you exactly what we do.
“I’m happy to give this a go, we’ve not tried it before, and I am confident that if they came out with us, they would see just how much work is being done, and that we target all those drinking.”
Current legislation is not a blanket ban on street drinking, however under the order, officers can request drinkers give-up their alcohol for disposal. Anyone who refuses to comply with such a request is then committing an offence.
Authorities have said the three recent prosecutions of street drinkers show they ‘do continue to use anti-social behaviour legislation daily’.
If you would like to join Insp Morrice and his team on a street drinking patrol, email reporter Daniel Jaines
FACTFILE: Monthly drink figures
Officers have issued advice to 126 people on street drinking since January of this year. Here are the monthly figures supplied by Insp Andy
Jan: PSPO Advice 22, PSPO Warning 3, CPW 0, CPN 0.
Feb: PSPO Advice 15, PSPO Warning 2, CPW 4, CPN 0.
March: PSPO Advice 14, PSPO Warning 3, CPW 0, CPN 1.
April: PSPO Advice 28, PSPO Warning 2, CPW 1, CPN 0.
May: PSPO Advice 7, PSPO Warning 0, CPW 0, CPN 0.
June: PSPO Advice 26, PSPO Warning 4, CPW 0, CPN 0.
Up to July 18: PSPO Advice 21, PSPO Warning 4, CPW 3, CPN 0.
Total: PSPO Advice 126, PSPO warning 18, CPW 8, CPN 1.