Licence review for off-licence

Cans left in New Bell Lane, Wisbech by drinkers.
Cans left in New Bell Lane, Wisbech by drinkers.

Police have called for a review of a Wisbech off-licence in a bid to crack down on street drinking in the town centre.

Sergeant Dave Bax believes the Wisbech Off Licence on Nene Quay is supporting street drinking by selling single cans of alcohol.

Sgt Bax said in his statement: “These street drinkers do not purchase alcohol from public houses. They beg, borrow and steal money to buy alcohol from off-licensed premises.

“Police always see drinkers when on patrol. They are sitting on walls, benches, in parks, public gardens. This looks awful and has a detrimental effect on the image of Wisbech.”

There are a number of areas that police are concerned about, including New Bell Lane, New Inn Yard, Crescent Gardens and Ghost Passage.

Within a three-hour period, 24 cans of lager, two cans of cider, two bottles of beer and one bottle of red wine were seized from drinkers within a one-minute walk of Wisbech Off Licence.

The store is also suspected of selling non duty paid cigarettes and has been caught with such products on two occasions.

The police have submitted a proposal for a Cumulative Impact policy to be applied to certain areas of the town centre. There is already a Designated Public Places Order (DPPO) in place to prohibit the drinking of alcohol in public places within the given zone.

Licensing law guidance recognises that the saturation of licensed venues in a particular area can impact on public nuisance and disorder. If a Cumulative Impact policy is put in place, new applicants would need to show that they would not add to the “cumulative impact”.