Complaints about Spalding street drinkers reduced

Complaints about drinking in the streets have “significantly reduced” during the last year.

Police this week published the results of Operation Trunk – which was introduced to tackle anti-social behaviour related to street drinking in the town centre just before the campaign and has been widely publicised ever since.

More than 1,800 coupons from readers in support of John Hayes’ five-point plan to rid the town centre of drunken and drug-led disorder, litter and graffiti were presented to Police and Crime Commissioner Alan Hardwick by the MP in February.

Improvements in the amount of drinking in the streets and litter have since been noted, but the police report gives the full facts of the success of Operation Trunk.

In the year 2012-2013 there were 337 occasions when people were dealt with for breaches of the Designated Public Places Order (DPPO) in Spalding town centre, with a number of locations being particular “hotspots”.

The main area of concern has always been the town centre, but in March only one street drinker was found by police and dealt with.

Insp Jim Tyner said: “All in all, I hope that people feel reassured by the action we are taking under the current law.

“The fact that we are receiving significantly less calls from the public about street-drinking would suggest street drinkers are having less impact on people going about their normal business in the town centre.”

Abbey Path has been another area of particular concern and a year ago the Spalding Guardian spoke to residents Jayne (64) and Len Young (79).

Mrs Young said this week: “Things have definitely improved. We don’t see as many drinkers along here during the day.

“Those we have seen have been quite polite and apologised when we asked them to move on because we didn’t want to look at them drinking through our window.

“It remains to be seen if there will be more street drinkers along here when the weather starts to warm up.”

Despite a reduction in calls, police are still seeking out street drinkers. 
In March drinkers were dealt with as follows: 
*Hall Place – 1
*Victoria Street – 1
*Aldi car park – 1 
*Castle Swimming Pool – 2
*Gore Lane – 2
*Westlode Street – 3
*Abbey Path – 4
*Sainsbury’s car park – 5
*St Thomas Road – 6
*Riverbank, Double Street – 7
*Castle Sports Centre – 9
A phased increase in Operation Trunk officers is planned as the weather warms. Call 101 to report drinking in DPPO areas.