Anti-social behaviour orders come into force in King’s Lynn, Downham Market and Hunstanton
Three new Public Spaces Protection Orders which will restrict alcohol consumption in areas of King’s Lynn, Hunstanton and Downham Market are now in force.
They replace previous orders which expired following the introduction of the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Police Act 2014.
The new orders do not ban the consumption of alcohol, but place restrictions on its consumption where that consumption is causing or is likely to cause alcohol-related disorder.
The area of King’s Lynn’s order has been extended to areas where alcohol-related disorder is known to take place.
Orders for Downham Market and Hunstanton contain minor amendments to allow for new housing developments.
Ian Devereux, West Norfolk council’s cabinet member for environment, said: “We want to ensure we have some mechanism that means people who are drinking and causing alcohol-related anti-social behaviour in our town centres in a way that adversely affects others’ way of life could be asked to stop drinking or surrender their drinks.
“The consultation we held earlier this year when we were considering making these orders told us that our residents are overwhelmingly in favour of us having these powers”.
The orders come into force as police step up patrols after increased complaints about aggressive begging and street drinking in Lynn.
Sgt Tom Metcalfe, from Lynn police, said: “This operation is not about targeting all homeless people but focuses on those causing anti-social behaviour. Anyone found to be posing as homeless and exploiting the generosity of the public will be warned about their behaviour before facing prosecution.
“Alcohol related ASB and street drinking remains a focus for Policing in the town.
“We’ve had several reports of groups gathering in the centre, drinking and being aggressive towards members of the public and this operation hopes to tackle that.”
“Once this initial phase is complete we will increase our response to tackle those who persistently offend and take appropriate action. This may include prosecution, criminal behaviour orders and offering support through our partners.”