New rules to crack down on street drinking in Wisbech come into force this week.
Fenland District Council is introducing a Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) in the town on Friday, October 20.
The order intends to restrict alcohol consumption in three street drinking hotspots – Tillery Fields, St Peter’s Church Gardens and the memorial garden in The Crescent – and enable authorised officers to tackle alcohol-related antisocial behaviour across a wider area covering Wisbech town centre.
The robust approach will form part of a wider alcohol action plan being delivered by the council through the Wisbech Alcohol Partnership to address the issues and also provide support to dependent drinkers and local residents.
Other initiatives in the 14-point plan include recovery walks from the Inclusion Adult Substance Misuse Treatment Service and recruiting a dedicated outreach worker to engage with street drinkers through funding secured from central government.
After a successful bid to government, Wisbech has also become a Local Alcohol Action Area, one of only 33 locations in the country, which is working towards reducing the sale of alcohol to people who are drunk and help improve the health outcomes of the local community affected by alcohol misuse.
A Cumulative Impact Zone has also been implemented in the town making it harder to get a licence to sell alcohol, with a number of licences having already been refused through the use of the order.
Associated issues such as homelessness and poor management and condition of private rented homes are also being tackled through a partnership approach.
Under the new PSPO, which was approved by the council last month, it will be an offence to possess any open containers of alcohol in the three hotspot areas. It will also be an offence to drink alcohol in the town centre if someone continues to drink when asked to stop and refuses to surrender their alcohol.
It can be enforced by police officers, Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) and authorised persons representing Fenland District Council.
Anyone caught breaching the order could be issued with a Fixed Penalty Notice of £75.
Councillor David Oliver, the council’s Cabinet member for community safety, said: “We are introducing the PSPOs to respond to areas of need in Wisbech that have been impacted by alcohol misuse and harm.
“It will form part of our wider partnership work as it is essential we continue to address this
complex issue through both enforcement and ongoing support to alleviate it long-term and
ensure people are able to feel safe and enjoy the town.”
For more information on the PSPOs visit: www.fenland.gov.uk/pspo