STREET DRINKING: Issue makes me despair

The results of street drinking in Spalding
The results of street drinking in Spalding
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I write regarding the special report in Tuesday’s Lincolnshire Free Press on the “Project that can turn tap off on drinkers in a sorry state”.

It seems confusion has set in over what the initial cause to many of the issues of this town are.

The story is set off by the headlining photo of street drinkers’ cans piled up. Then we read about the old “We’ve had enough” campaign.

It was backed by 1,800 people who stated they had had enough of street drinkers within the town.

We are now three years down the line and, in my opinion, we are seeing more of this anti-social activity.

In 2012, MP John Hayes stated that he had plans for a police crackdown on anti-social behaviour and stronger enforcement of a town centre-wide ban on drinking.

Mr Hayes also added that he wanted to see a zero-tolerance policy in terms of anti-social behaviour and would be more than happy to lead the previously mentioned campaign to eliminate it from the centre of Spalding.

That never happened, apart from the odd “operation” and the issues remained. The focus on the centre of the town alone was a huge mistake on their part as the issues are more prominent along the riverside and back alleys.

Now back to the confusion. The current story I mentioned at the top of this letter started off by mentioning street drinkers but then got side-tracked to the night-time club and pub drinkers, which was not the original cause or a link to many of the issues which the “enough is enough” campaign was about.

For Matt Clark to state that it is a national problem is maybe correct, but for him to say it is not linked to our migrant community shows just how out of touch these people who we trust in any form of power are.

Ask these communities all over the UK, and the locals are all saying the same no matter which town or city you are from.

As mentioned before by Inspector Tyner when he was here, it was admitted that the vast majority of street drinkers were migrants.

This is also backed up by court reports where it showed a higher proportion of drink-related offences. Maybe a walk around some hot spots would be beneficial to Matt.

Regarding the scheme to help treat resistant drinkers, I do question as to what these people are offering our society if they are from abroad and are repeat offenders such as I see down the alleys.

Surely common sense dictates a full ban, backed by a police presence and those who blatantly disregard our laws dealt with properly.

As for the voluntary code, I’m not sure where, or if, it is working, as I still see people drinking from a blue bag.

Someone, somewhere is still turning a blind eye to the sales and I suspect it is not just a few shops.

I fear for the town and the impact that this anti-social issue has upon it, from litter to urine, to polluted rivers. I really despair.

Mr R Garner

Spalding