‘Over to you now’ - public calls for Boston booze ban as councillors meet to discuss way forward


The public have spoken out to demand a ban on all boozing in public places in Boston - with councillors now left to decide what to do next.

The borough council asked the public for its views on the issue and 97 per cent of respondents wanted a total ban on drinking in public places.

The survey also showed that 94 per cent feel people should not be allowed to drink alcohol in public places such as the street and parks and the same number thought there was a problem with drinking in public in the town centre.

Central Park was highlighted as one of the worst problem areas.

Members of the council’s environment and performance committee will now consider the way forward when they meet tonight (Wednesday).

Coun Stephen Woodliffe, borough council portfolio holder for regulatory services, said: “Members of the committee are very concerned about these issues and I will encourage an open-ended debate so that all avenues are fully explored, taking into account all the evidence placed before us.

“Many members of the public have expressed their views in very forthright terms, which reflects the deep public concern that exists with this particular issue.”

The committee is recommended to suggest a complete ban on street drinking in the town centre area currently subject to the drinking in public places order (DPPO) with the addition of the lower High Street area.

If agreed this would still need to be passed by the council’s cabinet.

The new ban would also have the effect of banning drinking in other public places such as parks and public open spaces.

DPPOs are not a ban and only force people to hand over their drink if police suspect them of anti-social behaviour.

These orders, in place since 2007, are due to be replaced by Community Protection Orders, giving councils the authority to introduce total street drinking bans if deemed necessary.

Councillors will hear in a report prepared by Peter Hunn, the council’s principal community safety officer and Lincolnshire Police, that a relatively high number of police incidents in Boston are alcohol related.

In 2013 9.1 per cent of all police incidents in the borough were alcohol related compared with an average for Lincolnshire of 6.6 per cent.

Alcohol-related anti-social behaviour and concern for safety incidents during daylight hours increased in Boston by 18 per cent between 2006 to 2010 and 2011 to 2013.

This is said to have decreased in 2013, with the police launching a crackdown on such issues in ‘Operation Dakota’.

However, while the council says there is no evidence to prove the DPPO has just moved the problem out to other parts of the town, there is evidence street-drinking hotspots have moved to areas where new off-licences have opened.

The new Community Protection Orders could be in place early next year and a breach of a new drinks ban order could result in a maximum fine of £1,000.

In the report the police say street drinking and associated anti-social behaviour is a significant problem in the town, intimidating and impacting on visitors and so has a social and economic impact.

Police and Crime Commissioner Alan Hardwick wants a complete drinks ban in the current town centre DPPO area with the addition of the lower High Street area.