A plan to tackle street drinking in Spalding by capping the sale of super-strength and single cans of beer is leaving shopkeepers and the public unconvinced.
Safer Spalding, a partnership between police, Spalding and District Chamber of Commerce, Trading Standards and South Holland District Council, has been launched to crack down on the effects of on-street drinking.
Supporters of the scheme hope a limit on sales of single beer cans will hit street drinkers financially, having to buy alcohol in bulk.
But shopkeepers and Guardian readers claim the amount of shops allowed to sell alcohol in Spalding is the real problem, leaving the town stained by incidents of crime, disorder and vandalism.
Mo Kader, owner of Spalding Market in Westlode Street, said: “The council is telling us not to sell single cans of beer, but why can’t it control the number of alcohol licences it gives out?
“When I first opened my shop, there were only two off-licences here but now the council is giving alcohol licences to other places all over the town.
“We’ve put up signs saying that we don’t sell single cans of beer but if people want to drink on the street, they’ll drink on the street.”
A spokesman for Londis supermarket in Commercial Road said: “People who drink will never stop and even if shops in the town don’t sell single cans of beer, people who drink will get them somewhere else.”
Guardian readers have also raised doubts about the scheme through social media on our Facebook page.
Ken Bridges said: “Why does the council allow so many places to sell it in the first place if they don’t want it on the streets?”
South Holland community policing inspector Jim Tyner said: “Street drinking continues to be a significant issue for many people.”