CALL TO BAN BOOZING IN THE STREET

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TRADERS in Spalding will push for a drinking byelaw to ban alcohol from the town centre’s streets.

Fed-up members of Spalding and District Area Chamber of Commerce have agreed to start investigating the measure in a bid to tackle anti-social drinking in the town.

The group has already raised concerns with South Holland District Council over the number of premises being granted licences to serve alcohol in the areas around Westlode Street and Sheep Market.

Speaking at the chamber meeting on Tuesday, chairman Jason Rooke said: “We need to keep pushing.”

At present, Spalding town centre is covered by a Designated Public Place Order (DPPO), which gives police the discretionary power to confiscate alcohol if they believe a person is causing or is likely to cause anti-social behaviour.

The offence comes with a maximum penalty of £500 if the person is convicted.

Mr Rooke told the meeting action can only be taken against licensed premises if they are found to be in breach of one of four licensing objectives, which include prevention of crime and disorder, protection of children from harm, public safety and prevention of public nuisance.

He said everyone must be encouraged to report problems if they come across them.

Mr Rooke said he had not realised a byelaw was an option but that the chamber should “press” for it.

The work of Spalding’s town centre policing team was praised, but Pete Williams, of The Punchbowl pub in New Road, said enforcement of the DPPO was an issue.

He said officers “did not need the hassle” and “had better things to do” than enforce it.

Speaking after the meeting, Sgt Stuart Brotherton, of Spalding Police Station, said he would support any action that would eradicate street drinking.

He said: “In the meantime we must continue working on the DPPO, consider signage and consider those who are not aware in our community that anti-social drinking is not permitted in that red line area.

“In an ideal world a ban would be great and I am sure we would play a part in enforcing it but there is an issue over how much it will cost, gathering the evidence you need and the feasibility of it.”