Scheme working as street drinking cut

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Street drinkers are being driven from Spalding town centre, bringing a new “sense of well-being”.

Statistics show a significant reduction in the need for intervention by police officers.

Between June and July last year the number of incidents dealt with by police almost halved, and the number of calls from the public fell by more than 50 per cent.

South Holland District Council says the partnership approach to addressing street drinking in the town centre has had a noticeable effect.

This includes:

1 Adopting a single can policy – an agreement with local off-licences not to sell single cans. Street drinkers were buying one can at a time to minimise their loss when police made seizures.

1 Litter removal – the council made an undertaking to remove all litter, including discarded cans and bottles, within the Designated Public Protection Order area every 24 hours

1 Rough sleepers – many of our street drinkers were also rough sleepers. Joint patrols with the Framework Street Outreach Team took place to break the cycle.

1 Foreign nationals – the majority of street drinkers are from central and eastern European backgrounds. Joint working with UK Border Agency removed some of the most prolific street drinkers as the council could evidence that they were not exercising their treaty rights.

Coun Nick Worth, portfolio holder for community, said: “I’m pleased that our work with the police on tackling street drinking has achieved good results.

“We know, though, that the problem is still there – albeit on a smaller scale – and with the summer months approaching when it is more prevalent we will continue to work closely together to reduce it further.”

Community policing inspector Jim Tyner said: “I am very pleased that the hard work of Spalding Police and South Holland District Council made a difference to the sense of well-being in Spalding town centre.

“However, I’m not complacent and we are putting plans in place to meet the challenges this year.”