Petition calls for zero-tolerance approach
Jamie Cook set up the petition following on-going discussions on Facebook of the problems of drinkers blighting parks and open spaces making parts of the town ‘no-go zones’ for some residents.
He said: “It started with one post by a woman who was fed-up with seeing drunks lying around the streets and parks, urinating, defacating and leaving their empties littering the town and it grew from there.
“Someone suggested there should be a petition calling for a zero tolerance approach and to force police to take action to tackle the problem, which seems to have got worse and worse in the last few years, and I thought why not do it, so I set one up.
“I have been amazed by how much support there has been from people - it clearly is a serious issue for Wisbech. It is blighting our town - what sort of impression does it give to visitors?
“I know families who don’t go into town because they don’t want their children exposed to all the drinkers and growing up thinking that is normal behaviour and also older people who feel frightened and intimidated by the large numbers of drunks who sit around places like St Peter’s Gardens.”
Mr Cook is not alone, Philip Williams, who was among those calling for a petition said: “There were well over 800 comments on Facebook about it, people were posting pictures and calling for action. Jamie set the petition up and it has rolled from there. I am not a warrior or anything like that, I just want to see something done that will put a stop to this problem - why should we have to put up with it?”
The petition, which can be found at https://www.change.org/p/fenland-district-council-et-al-a-drinking-ban-in-wisbech, says: “Wisbech is blighted with drunken behaviour and the people have been absolutely clear on what they are looking for. An absolute zero tolerance policy to drunk and disorderly behaviour, a drinking ban supported by PSPOs or similar legislation, across the whole town, fines, ASBOs or similar banning orders for repeat offenders.
“A reveiw of the alcohol licences currently active within the town, including a number of takeaway outlets reportedly selling alcohol from 2pm-3am in some cases. A commitment from Cambridgeshire Police and Crime Commissioner Jason Ablewight and Steve Barclay to adequately fight to resource Wisbech appropriately to cope with all measures brought forward.”
Mr Cook plans to present the petition to Fenland District Council, Cambridgeshire County Council, Mr Ablewhite, Mr Barclay and Mayor James Palmer.
“There are parts of Wisbech that are clearly no-go zones for families and the general concensus is that this behaviour needs to be stopped - I want the authorities to listen to what the people are saying and take action. We needed 500 signatures for Fenland District Council to debate the issue - and we have way more than that, so I expect them to discuss it properly when I deliver it to Fenland Hall,” he said.