London,
13
November
2012
|
00:00
Europe/London

90% drop in street-drinking related anti-social behaviour

Reports of anti-social behaviour relating to street drinking have fallen by nearly 90 per cent over the last two years.

The dramatic drop follows the introduction of a borough-wide Controlled Drinking Zone, which gives the police the power to confiscate alcohol or stop people drinking if they are causing disorder or threatening behaviour in streets, parks and public open spaces.

The order came into force in May 2010, following a public consultation. The progress of the order is carefully monitored by a forum which includes representatives from the outreach and support services, and well as the police and the council’s anti-social behaviour team.

Between May 2009 and May 2010 the police received 609 calls relating to street drinking. In the same period between 2011 and 2012, they received just 64. Calls to the council dropped by a similar level.

The scheme has also proved successful in referring persistent street drinkers for treatment.

The council and police are continuing to focus on hotspots in the borough, including Gillett Square, in Dalston, and have formed a joint action group to tackle issues around street drinking and other anti-social behaviour in the area.

Cllr Sophie Linden, Cabinet Member for Crime, said: “This sort of anti-social behaviour can make life really difficult for residents. It’s good that we have  made such a difference and have been able to offer support to street drinkers.

“We’ve still got work to do and we’re listening to residents about where to focus our efforts. The areas residents told us were ‘hotspots’ when we launched the scheme have reported big drops in anti-social behaviour and we’re determined to make a difference in problem areas.

“One of the most pleasing results is that, rather than issuing fixed penalties to those who can’t afford to pay them, the police and wardens have been confiscating alcohol and helping them to seek professional help. This has proved effective and the results speak for themselves.”

Chief Inspector Andy Walker from Hackney Police, said: "The use of the Controlled Drinking legislation allows us to intervene early to prevent violence and disorder and we are really pleased with the results so far.

“We are working hard to keep Hackney's streets and public places safe and this includes tackling those who use alcohol in an anti-social way."