Street drinkers campaign ‘a success’
Published: Wednesday 26th September 12
A joint council and police initiative to tackle problem street drinkers on Putney’s Ashburton estate has been judged a success.
Councillors on the environment, culture and community safety scrutiny committee have been told that there was a big fall in the number of complaints about street drinkers since a ban on consuming alcohol in public places was introduced earlier this year.
A six month review of the Designated Public Place Order (DPPO) that was jointly brought in by the council and police in this part of West Putney stated that complaints about drunken anti-social behaviour had dropped to just a handful.
The council's community safety spokesman Cllr Jonathan Cook said: "The results from this campaign have been hugely encouraging.
"We've seen a big fall in the number of complaints from estate residents who were suffering from the unacceptable antics of some hardcore street drinkers that regularly congregated on the estate.
"It is particularly encouraging that these problems have dwindled so dramatically over the summer months when you would normally expect to encounter more problems from people who have been drinking outdoors.
"There have been no reports to suggest the problems have been displaced elsewhere. On the contrary, the borough's drug and alcohol outreach teams have reported some notable successes in diverting some street drinkers onto treatment programmes so we have been able to address some of the root causes of this issue.
"We will keep the DPPO in place on the estate for another six months to ensure that this work continues and that there is no let up in our efforts to eradicate this problem. We are determined to build on this recent success."
The DPPO was introduced following numerous reports of anti-social behaviour from a hardcore group of drinkers in the area. Estate residents had been suffering physical and verbal abuse, harassment, noise disturbance and been forced to witness drinkers urinating in the streets.
The order has given additional powers to police constables and community support officers to instruct people to stop drinking in public places on the estate and if necessary confiscate their alcohol.
Those who fail to comply with such a direction face an on-the spot fine or prosecution in the magistrates court.
The order 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.