Street drinkers face £500 fine

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RESIDENTS found drinking in the streets could be fined up to £500 in new powers being used by the police to keep Spalding town centre safer.

Designated Public Place Orders (DPPOs) were introduced in April and there has already been a significant fall in the number of call-outs to local police.

Insp Stuart Hurst said: “We launched Operation Trunk in April to tackle drinking in the streets and anti-social behaviour, and have already seen a decrease in calls and incidents.

“We are trying to prevent problems before they start by getting the message out.

“When the weather is bad, as it has been recently, ‘PC Rain’ is our friend. But when it warms up and people start congregating in groups, that is when members of the public get concerned.”

In tackling anti-social behaviour, the officers researched problem areas in the town, including Holland Market where ‘boy racers’ have been reported driving fast around the car park. Insp Hurst said: “Shoppers out with the families do not want to see youths doing handbrake turns in the car park.”

A team lead by PC Arianne Kitchener has been using DPPOs to seize alcohol if officers believe people drinking in the streets could lead to anti-social behaviour.

It already has the backing of the new Chief Constable of Lincolnshire, Neil Rhodes. He told the Free Press: “Stopping drinking in the streets is high on the list of priorities for Spalding police.

”Police are working with South Holland District Council’s anti-social behaviour team to get the message out.”

The area covered by DPPOs includes Castle Sports Complex, West Elloe Avenue, Love Lane, High Street and Park Road.

Insp Hurst said: “Ringleaders have been targeted and we are finding they are no longer in town. We hope that gives reassurance we are serious about making the streets safe for all.”

However, he said the police could not afford to be complacent. He said: “We would still like to encourage the public to contact us if they see any incidents that concern them.”