City to ban all street drinking
NOTTINGHAM could become the first city in Britain to introduce a blanket ban on drinking in public places.
The city council has already banned drinking in the city centre and several other areas, including Sneinton, Hyson Green, St Ann's and Mapperley.
Now it wants to introduce a city-wide ban in a bid to prevent alcohol-fuelled violence and people creating a nuisance in the street.
The orders mean that anyone caught drinking in the street can have alcohol taken off them.
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If a person refuses they can be arrested or given a £50 on-the-spot fine.
The council says the bans, known as designated public places orders, have worked well in other parts of the city.
Councillor Alex Norris, the city's community safety spokesman, said: "Areas of the city that are currently covered by designated public places orders have seen decreases in reports of antisocial behaviour.
"The number of alcoholic drinks being confiscated in these areas has decreased by around 40 per cent in the last year and we attribute this to the robust use of these orders.
"A city-wide ban will ensure that we have the power to deal with alcohol-related antisocial behaviour in the same robust way in every single one of our neighbourhoods."
The city council, working with Community Protection – a partnership between the police and council – is currently collecting evidence to establish whether there is enough cause for a blanket ban.
This will include the number of phone calls received from members of the public reporting street drinking and the number of incidents attended by police.
A public consultation will be held and, if a city-wide ban is approved, signs advertising the order will be placed across Nottingham. A decision is expected later in the year.
Chief Superintendent Simon Nickless, police divisional commander for Nottingham, hoped the ban would be used with other initiatives to help prevent antisocial drinking.
He said: "What we have found is with these orders, rather than waiting for negative things to happen, are helping prevent trouble."
Bill Blackamore, 70, of Bulwell Forest, welcomed the move. "Sadly, alcohol is a real problem," he said.
"I think it is as bad as any of the drugs that aren't as available and the damage it does to families and communities is equally as immense."