Concerns street drinking on Norwich’s streets is leading to antisocial behaviour increase
PUBLISHED: 16:58 03 January 2018 | UPDATED: 16:58 03 January 2018
Council bosses have offered reassurance street drinking in Norwich is being tackled, despite concerns of an increase in antisocial behaviour.
The issue was raised at a recent meeting of Norwich City Council, where councillors heard there had been 409 drunken behaviour incidents on the streets and 323 drunken behaviour crimes on the streets between January and July last year.
Martin Schmierer, leader of the Green group and city councillor for Mancroft ward, said: “Over the last few months, an increasing number of my constituents have reported that they are suffering from ever more antisocial behaviour, particularly linked to people drinking alcohol, especially super strength alcohol, in public spaces near residential areas.”
He said the problem was particularly prevalent in the city centre, Quayside, New Mills Yard and Elm Hill.
Kevin Maguire, Labour’s cabinet member for safe city environment, said there were two areas in the city which had been designated as public place orders under the Criminal Justice and Police Act at the request of Norfolk police.
In those areas, police are able to stop people drinking alcohol in designated areas and can seize opened bottles or cans of alcohol.
Mr Maguire said: “The two areas cover the city centre, incorporating the Gas Hill area, Riverside and King Street, with a further area covering Jenny Lind Park and Vauxhall Street across to Old Palace Road.”
However, a newer act has since introduced public space protection orders, sparking concern over whether the orihinal orders were still valid.
But Mr Maguire said government guidance is that the original orders will simply become public space protection orders instead, allowing the police to continue their actions to tackle street drinking.
Mr Maguire said: “The views of residents and businesses will be sought if any additional powers are required.
“In the meantime, Mr Schmierer can be reassured that the powers which allow the police to continue to confiscate alcohol from individuals who are causing antisocial behaviour from the drinking of alcohol in public places remain in place and will be actioned as required.”