BOOZED-up street drinkers have been warned abusive behaviour will no longer be tolerated after police activated draconian powers to fight the scourge.

A dispersal order has been put in place for part of Colchester town centre after a spike in antisocial behaviour.

Police approved the order, which runs until 4pm today to give them power to move on people who are causing trouble.

In recent weeks, reports have increased of people drinking alcohol, taking drugs and abusing council zone wardens, park rangers and police officers who try to stop them.

Colchester Council’s public safety boss Mike Lilley (Lab) said the abuse had come about when workers tried to enforce the authority’s Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) which bans boozing, drug taking and aggressive behaviour in the town centre.

He said: “We asked the wardens to go down and use the powers they have with the PSPO.

“The people there got very aggressive so the police became involved.

“That is not good enough.

“We fully support the police in their actions to bring in the dispersal order.

“It shows this sort of behaviour will not be tolerated.

“For them this is a last resort really.”


The safety boss added: “Our zone wardens are not paid to take abuse or be insulted.

“They are doing their jobs by reporting things and people react in a way which is totally inappropriate.

“These people are housed and do have somewhere to go but come to the town centre to drink to excess in groups.”

Mr Lilley said he had held high level talks with councillors in neighbouring authorities in Tendring, Braintree and Uttlesford and senior police officers about how best to combat street drinking.

The boundaries of the dispersal order are High Street, Culver Street East, Long Wyre Street, Arthur Street, Osbourne Street, St Botolph’s Street, Fenning’s Chase,St Botolph’s Priory and the grounds of Firstsite.