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New powers to tackle street drinking in Wisbech

PUBLISHED: 12:03 19 October 2017 | UPDATED: 12:03 19 October 2017

The North Brink Wisbech. Picture; Matthew Usher.

The North Brink Wisbech. Picture; Matthew Usher.

© Archant Norfolk 2012

New powers to tackle a town’s street drinking problems come into force tomorrow.

Fenland District Council is introducing a Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) in Wisbech.

The order intends to restrict alcohol consumption in Tillery Fields, St Peter’s Church Gardens and the memorial garden in The Crescent - and enable authorised officers to tackle alcohol-related antisocial behaviour across a wider area covering Wisbech town centre.

It forms part of a wider alcohol action plan being delivered by the council through the Wisbech Alcohol Partnership to address the issues and provide support to dependent drinkers and local residents.

Other initiatives in the 14-point plan include recovery walks from the Inclusion Adult Substance Misuse Treatment Service and recruiting a dedicated outreach worker.

After a successful bid to government, Wisbech has also become a Local Alcohol Action Area, one of only 33 locations in the country, which is working towards reducing the sale of alcohol to people who are drunk.

A Cumulative Impact Zone has also been implemented in the town making it harder to get a licence to sell alcohol, with a number of licences having already been refused through its use.

Issues such as homelessness and poor condition of private rented homes are also being tackled through a partnership approach.

Under the new PSPO, it will be an offence to possess any open containers of alcohol in the three areas. It will also be an offence to drink when asked to stop.

It can be enforced by police officers, community support officers and authorised persons representing the council.

Anyone caught breaching the order could be issued with a Fixed Penalty Notice of £75.

David Oliver, the council’s cabinet member for community safety, said: “We are introducing the PSPO to respond to areas of need in Wisbech that have been impacted by alcohol misuse and harm.

“It will form part of our wider partnership work as it is essential we continue to address this complex issue through both enforcement and ongoing support to alleviate it long-term and ensure people are able to feel safe and enjoy the town.”

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