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Plan to stop street drinking
10:00am Tuesday 3rd September 2013 in News
A BOOZE crackdown is planned for Colchester.
Licensing officers have travelled around the country to find out more about what others are doing to combat binge drinking in town centres.
And a series of proposals will be put forward to Colchester’s crime and disorder committee next week.
They include asking retailers to stop selling super strength alcohol, a zone around the town where street drinking will be forbidden and encouraging bars to switch to plastic containers.
The town already has designated public place orders which allow officers to confiscate alcohol being drunk in public places.
But the plan is to increase this and give officers court mandated powers to arrest those causing a nuisance within the zone, a scheme which has been successful in Birmingham.
Tim Young, councillor responsible for community safety, said: “We have to get the order from court but it would be another tool in the toolbox.
“It gives the police more powers to charge and we need things to change because we have alcohol misuse problems in the town centre.”
Mr Young said he has discussed the plan with Essex Police and he believes he has their full support.
He said: “We all know the problem areas including St Mary’s churchyard, The Priory and St Botolph’s.
“This would give us more powers.”
The licensing department also looked at the Reducing the Strength scheme in Ipswich which has led to a big drop in street drinking in the centre.
Mr Young said: “Super strength is about hard drinking. Getting drunk and doing it cheaply and there is a problem with this in Colchester.”
And he wants Colchester Council, with the support of the police and landlords, to lead the way in switching to plastic containers.
He added: “We are never going to get rid of problems completely but we have seen glassings, anti-social behaviour, crime, vandalism and late night problems.
“This is not about stopping people having a good time but stopping the problems.”
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