Action On Street Drinkers On Putney Estate

Council & police join forces to tackle problems on Ashburton estate

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Constables and police community support officers have now been given additional powers to prevent anti-social behaviour from a hardcore group of street drinkers who live on the estate.

The officers can now instruct people to stop drinking in public places on the Ashburton and if necessary confiscate their alcohol.

Anyone who fails to comply could face an on-the spot fine or prosecution in the magistrates court.

These new powers are enshrined in a Designated Public Place Order (DPPO) which has been introduced jointly by the council and police in this part of west Putney.   A DPPO is specifically designed to tackle nuisance and annoyance caused by the consumption of alcohol in public places. The powers to set them up are contained in The Criminal Justice and Police Act 2001.

The order, which will remain in force for 12 months, covers an area bordered by Dover House Road in the west, Crestway Road and Westleigh Avenue to the north, Putney Hill to the east and Putney Heath to the south.

It has been introduced following numerous reports of anti-social behaviour from a hardcore group of drinkers in the area. Estate residents have suffered physical and verbal abuse, harassment, noise disturbance and also been forced to witness drinkers urinating in the streets.

The council and police had previously responded to these problems with a range of other remedies, including more police patrols and design changes to deter drinkers congregating in certain areas. Efforts to enrol people in alcohol treatment programmes were also stepped up.

Although these initiatives have achieved some successes, a small group of hardcore of drinkers have resisted all attempts to curb their behaviour.

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 rash of problems for people living nearby.  Until now these drinkers have resisted all offers of help and all attempts to get them to change their ways, so we are adopting a new approach to deal with this problem."

He continued:
“Now the police will be able to order a person to stop consuming alcohol in a public place and if necessary confiscate whatever it is they are drinking. At the same time, we will also be renewing efforts to enrol these street drinkers in alcohol treatment programmes.   We believe this combination of tactics will lead to reduction in the level of nuisance that residents on the estate are experiencing.”


March 8, 2012