A complete ban on drinking in public could be on the cards for Boston as the authorities look to replace the current rules which end this year.
Boston Borough Council wants your views on drinking in public, with the current Designated Public Place Order finishing at the end of 2014.
The controversial DPPO is not a ban – and only gives police powers if people are suspected to be committing anti-social behaviour.
Police feel it has been a ‘useful tool’ and say enforcing that law has seen alcohol related anti-social behaviour incidents fall 23 per cent in the last year, from 214 to 164.
This May, the force will be applying for a Community Protection Order (Public Spaces) to replace Boston’s DPPO. This could be used to create an outright ban if that is what residents want.
The borough council now wants to know if people should be allowed to drink alcohol in a public place – including streets, parks, car parks and areas beyond the town centre including the villages.
Coun Stephen Woodliffe said the DPPO wasn’t effective enough. He said: “It was a step forward on nothing, because we didn’t have it before, and it has brought some relief to the centre of the town, but the act has serious limitations and I think the public now understands it has.”
He added: “I think most people would like to stop street drinking in the town centre and I would too.
“A lot of people say they don’t like seeing people walking round drinking alcohol in the towns and street, and I don’t like it either.”
If a ban were to be introduced under a CPO there would be no room for discretion as under the DPPO. Only a police officer would be able to enforce the ban.
Boston community Insp Jim Manning said: “Drink -related crime and anti-social behaviour is an issue we take very seriously and we are confident that Lincolnshire Police and our partners will continue to see a reduction in offences, with the use of the new Community Protection Order which should be in place next year when the current legislation expires.”
n Complete the council’s survey at www.boston.gov.uk