Tackling Street Drinking On Putney Estate

Council & police explore joint action plan to tackle problem drinkers on Ashburton estate


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The plans revolve around setting up a Designated Public Place Order (DPPO) that would cover the housing estate and some surrounding streets.

A DPPO is designed to tackle nuisance, annoyance and disorder caused by the consumption of alcohol in public places.

If an order is introduced to this specific part of west Putney, police officers would be given the powers to stop people drinking in a public place and if necessary confiscate any alcohol. Anyone who failed to comply would be guilty of an offence and could face an on-the spot fine or prosecution in the magistrates court.

The police and council are jointly considering this course of action following complaints from local residents about the anti-social activities of a hardcore group of drinkers on the estate.

Residents have been subjected to physical and verbal abuse, harassment, noise disturbance and the drinkers urinating in the streets.

The council and police have already responded to these problems with a range of other remedies. These have included increased police patrols, physical changes to deter drinkers congregating in certain areas and renewed efforts to enrol people in alcohol treatment programmes.

However the problems persist, prompting the police and town hall to actively consider setting up the borough’s first DPPO. Before an order can be set up, there must be widespread consultation with the local community.

The council’s community safety spokesman Cllr Jonathan Cook said:
“There is a small group of individuals who gather together in public parts of the estate to drink. Unfortunately they then create a whole raft of problems for people living in the area and we are determined to tackle this.

“Until now these drinkers have resisted all offers of help and all attempts to get them to change their ways, so now we are looking at a new approach to deal with this problem. If a DPPO is introduced following public consultation, it should be stressed that this would not mean a drinking ban on other members of the public. Law abiding residents who may choose to sit on the grass outside their flat and not cause any bother to other people would not be affected by this.

“It is the hardcore group of street drinkers that are responsible for anti-social activity on the estate who would be the focus of these efforts. And at the same time as any law enforcement measures were being stepped up we would also be renewing our on-going efforts to enrol these people in alcohol treatment programmes.

“We believe this combination of tactics could significantly reduce the nuisance that residents on the estate are currently experiencing. We are determined to do what we can to bring these problems to an end.”

February 10, 2012