MP calls for crackdown on alcohol littering

Rubbish left by street drinkers in Harecroft Road, Wisbech
Rubbish left by street drinkers in Harecroft Road, Wisbech

MP Steve Barclay is calling for Council action to clean up after street drinkers and crackdown on alcohol related littering in Fenland.

The MP raised concerns in response to images released by Cambridgeshire police patrols showing the extent of the issue of alleyways, parks and pathways strewn with beer cans, bottles and human waste.

Mr Barclay is calling on Fenland District Council to assist police efforts to clear up affected areas by taking action to prosecute those caught littering and engaging in antisocial behaviour on Council CCTV systems.

The Council has not yet made use of specific enforcement powers enabling it to issue a Fixed Penalty Notice or prosecute those found alcohol littering.

Mr Barclay said: “ I find it very surprising that FDC has not prosecuted anyone for alcohol littering or given a fixed penalty ticket for this specific offence.

“ I recognize the results achieved by the Council’s rapid response team in clearing up mess and their record on enforcement on general waste.

“However the Council’s continued reluctance to make use of enforcement orders and prosecute offenders captured on their own CCTV Cameras needs to change, especially when the problems of alcohol littering, mess and nuisance street drinking are becoming an acute problem for residents in Wisbech.

“Currently the Council’s littering patrols are operational from Monday to Friday and in daylight hours. This misses the critical Friday and Saturday evening periods when most of the problems occur meaning the mess remains throughout the weekend.

“Issuing penalty notices and taking steps to prosecute would send a clear deterrent message to repeat offenders and would go a long way to prevent littering rather than simply coming in to deal with the aftermath.

“Failure to make full use of available powers is leaving police to clean up the mess and using up valuable time that could be spent investigating more serious offences. The resultant mess and noise disturbance is also placing wider strain on the community.

“I am calling on Paul Medd as Chief Executive of Council to demonstrate that officers understand how serious the problem is and commit to prosecuting anyone caught in alcohol related littering behaviour.”

The call for steps to combat alcohol littering come after a Cambridgeshire constabulary telephone surgery revealed a 10% rise in residents’ perceptions of antisocial behaviour. The majority of this increase related to street drinking and associated littering, drugs and nuisance concentrated around alleyways, side streets and parks.