Drinkers are being driven off the streets of Spalding in a new campaign aimed at stopping the sale of single, high-strength cans of beer.
It is a joint operation involving the police and off-licences – and so far the result has been encouraging.
Town centre beat officer PC Paul Smith said: “It’s having a really positive effect. We’re already seeing fewer people hanging about the streets drinking and shouting.
“Off-licences across the town have been happy to help us because the penny has finally dropped that if people are not hanging outside drinking and being intimidating, other members of the public will not be put off going in.”
The operation is in addition to the work police and the South Holland District Council’s community safety team are already doing to combat the problem of street drinking – the focus of the Lincolnshire Free Press’ ‘We’ve Had Enough’ campaign that gathered more than 1,000 supporters.
Public notices in English, Polish, Lithuanian and Russian have been circulated around off-licences in the town where they are now on display.
They state: ‘This shop’s policy is NOT TO SELL SINGLE CANS OF BEER/CIDER, in line with police and council advice to help prevent Anti Social Behaviour occurring in the vicinity.’
Sgt Stuart Brotherton said: “We’re not trying to hurt people’s businesses – we’re just looking to bring in some good practice.
“In the long run it will help the off-licences because any incident that has happened in the vicinity of their shops is logged and would be taken into account when the next licence application is heard.”
Mo Kadir, owner of Spalding Market in Westlode Street, said he was happy to work with police on this.
He said: “My family have off-licences across town and it’s much better for us if people are not outside drinking putting other customers off.
“If we know people to be hardened drinkers, we are also refusing them sales.”