Powers to beat unruly drinkers

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POWERS allowing alcohol to be seized from drinkers on the streets of Hucknall to prevent booze-fuelled anti-social behaviour are now in place.

Virtually the whole of the town comes under the effects of new Designated Public Places Orders (DPPO) brought into force by Ashfield District Council.

The orders allow the police and council-employed community protection officers (CPOs) to confiscate alcohol from troublemakers on the street.

It has been made clear that the orders do not ban drinking on the streets but give enforcement officers another weapon in dealing with anti-social behaviour.

More than 400 streets and areas in Hucknall are included in the DPPOs. These include Titchfield Park, the Nabbs Lane and Albert Street recreation grounds and Hucknall Cemetery on Broomhill Road.

If a person does not comply with a request to stop drinking, they could be fined up to £500 on conviction.

The new orders have been created after a review of alcohol-related anti-social behaviour across the Ashfield district. Proposals were subject to public consultation.

Coun Elizabeth Mays (Lab), chairman of the council’s licensing and registration committee, said, “We are working closely in partnership with the police to tackle anti-social behaviour. We are keen to ensure that all of the tools and powers available are fully utilised and that they are effective.

“Powers under the new DPPOs strike a balance between people’s rights to drink in public areas in a responsible manner and the need for residents to feel safe and secure in the environment they live in.

“The council will continue to review levels of alcohol-related anti-social behaviour and how effective the powers under the new orders are in tackling this problem.

“Officers will continue to target hotspot locations and the council will look at adding new areas to be covered by the order where problems of anti-social behaviour connected with drinking alcohol are identified.”

A copy of the new order and maps, along with lists of streets covered, are available on the council’s website and at council offices, including the one on Watnall Road in Hucknall.