Fears raised over street drinking epidemic in Norfolk town
19:34 19 July 2012
Concerns have been raised over an increase in the number of people drinking in the street in a Norfolk town during the last six months.
Diss town councillors said they feared the potential rise in street drinking had fuelled an increase in anti-social behaviour in the town.
Insp Alice Scott, of Norfolk police, had earlier told the council meeting on Wednesday figures showed a 4.9pc reduction in all crimes during the last three months compared to the same period in 2011.
Comparative figures for the same periods also showed a 46pc drop in criminal damage offences and a 36pc reduction in thefts.
However, town mayor Graham Minshull said: “There seems to have been an increase in drunkenness around the town. I saw one person staggering around the town drunk and I think it is due to the seasonal workers having nothing to do, but we don’t want drunks around the town.”
Insp Scott said the police were involved in long term problem solving to target drunkenness, which involved a multi-agency approach working with doctors through health referrals and housing associations to deal with underlying issues causing the excessive drinking.
She added a person was being prosecuted for vandalism offences.
Later in the meeting, during discussion of a licensing matter, councillor Simon Olander also raised conerns about the levels of drunkenness, saying he had encountered people behaving anti-socially, including one drunk who was urinating against a wall in the town centre.
He added: “I do feel that this epidemic of street drinking has been quite bad during the last six months. I have seen people walking around the town with bags full of alcohol, half cut.”