Powers to confiscate alcohol used 'nearly every day' in Great Yarmouth

Great Yarmouth is looking to renew its PSPO on alcohol for another three years

A bid to extend orders giving extra powers to tackle anti-social behaviour driven by alcohol in public places like St George's Park in Great Yarmouth is being supported by chief superintendent Nathan Clark. - Credit: Archant

Powers to tackle anti-social behaviour caused by street drinking are "needed now more than ever" according to police.

Great Yarmouth Borough Council has brought in three Public Space Protection Orders (PSPOs) to crack down on alcohol-related anti-social behaviour, vehicle-related anti-social behaviour, and dog control.

Nathan Clark, chief inspector, has praised the public for their help with the search

Chief superintendent Nathan Clark is keen for the PSPO covering anti-social behaviour and alcohol in Great Yarmouth to be renewed for another three years. - Credit: Archant

The first one relating to alcohol was brought in in 2016 but has to be reviewed every three years.

A consultation period has come to an end with nearly 75pc saying they felt intimidated by street drinkers and had experienced anti-social behaviour.

Meanwhile, police have said they hope the council will renew the PSPO which covers streets, parks, and beaches.

In a statement police superintendent Nathan Clark said the order was particularly useful in the Market Place and St George's Park where behaviour had been moderated.

A war memorial in St Georges Park, Great Yarmouth. Picture: James Bass

The consumption of alcohol in public places like St George's Park is not banned under the PSPO but if it gives rise to anti-social behaviour drinkers can have their alcohol taken away from them. - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2014

However the problem was still widespread, with street drinkers placing huge pressure on the emergency services.

In the four years since April 2018 anti-social behaviour due to alcohol in the area covered by the PSPO had dropped by 35pc, although generally there was a 61pc increase with the pandemic driving alcohol abuse.

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He said: "The need for the PSPO has never been greater.

"Police officers over the last four years have demonstrated this legislation has not been used as a coercive police power.

"However, over the same period officers have utilised this legislation nearly every day.

" It provides the authority to engage street drinkers, remove open alcohol containers, and signpost vulnerable users to services and preventative approaches."

Under the PSPO if someone is causing anti-social behaviour associated with drinking alcohol in a public space, it allows police officers or an authorised council officer to confiscate the alcohol, including unopened cans and bottles.

If the person does not comply they can be issued with an £80 fixed penalty notice (reduced to £60 if paid within ten days).

Police also have the option to arrest the person in the most severe cases.

The council is recommending the order is renewed for a further three years from June 3.

A final decision will be made at its meeting of the full council on Thursday May 12, at 6pm in the council chamber.