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Police granted power to confiscate alcohol for three more years

PUBLISHED: 11:35 31 May 2019 | UPDATED: 11:35 31 May 2019

An order allowing police to confiscate alcohol in Great Yarmouth has reduced alcohol-related anti-social behaviour by a third in three years. Picture: Archant library

An order allowing police to confiscate alcohol in Great Yarmouth has reduced alcohol-related anti-social behaviour by a third in three years. Picture: Archant library

Archant

A measure allowing police officers to confiscate alcohol in Great Yarmouth has been extended for three years.

The order, launched in 2016, aims to tackle anti-social behaviour linked to drinking alcohol in parts of the town centre and the seafront.

It was initially granted for three years and on Thursday (May 30) Great Yarmouth Borough Council agreed to continue the Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) for a further three years.

The extension had been requested by Norfolk Constabulary and the full council decision followed a public consultation in which all respondents indicated their support for the proposed continuation of the PSPO.

The order is enforceable in any public space, including streets, parks and beaches, within the borough's boundaries.

Where someone is causing anti-social behaviour associated with drinking alcohol within the enforceable area, the order allows police officers or an authorised council officer to confiscate the alcohol that person has with them, including unopened cans and bottles.

The order also gives the police the power to issue on-the-spot fines to those who refuse to relinquish the drink.

Earlier this month the town's superintendent revealed that the order has contributed to the number of incidents dropping by more than a third.

Between April and March 2019, 420 incidents relating to alcohol were reported in the town.

The same period between 2015 and 2016, before the order was launched, produced 648.

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Cllr Carl Smith, chairman of the council, said: "This order is designed to help the council and police tackle anti-social behaviour and thereby improve the environment and quality of life for both residents and visitors.

"Crucially, this is not a ban on drinking alcohol in public spaces, the focus is on tackkling anti-social behaviour related to drinking.

"The option for people to drink responsibly is retained, so someone could have some wine or beer ina park or on the b each and if they do not cause related anti-social behaviour then this will not be a problem."

The Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 granted the option for local authorities to make Public Spaces Protection Orders to help reduce anti-social behaviour.

The PSPO covers the whole borough because the police and other partners had provided evidence of pockets of drinking-related anti-social behaviour across the area.

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