Public drinking public consultation

Lewisham Council's media team has issued the following announcement about a major public consultation:

Plans to trial a borough-wide Designated Public Order (or Drinking Control Zone) have been given the go-ahead by the Mayor, Sir Steve Bullock.

Before the pilot can be put in place, Lewisham Council must conduct a public consultation so that people have an opportunity to express their views.

The Designated Public Order will give police a discretionary the powers to stop people and confiscate, demand and dispose of any alcohol within the boundaries of Lewisham borough.
The DPPO is not a ban on alcohol consumption in a public place, and does not make drinking in a public an offence, but is a measure that can assist in tackling problematic street drinking linked to anti-social behaviour. The intention of the DPPO is to provide police with a tool to address alcohol-related disorder in a quick and effective way. Failure to comply with a request from the Police to hand over alcohol can result in arrest and/or a fine of up to £500.
The DPPO would be reviewed following a 6-month trial period.

Mayor of Lewisham, Sir Steve Bullock, said: “Lewisham Council has worked closely with Lewisham Police, the community and stakeholders.

“The difficult issue of anti-social behaviour brought about by street drinking needs to be tackled and the implementation of a pilot borough-wide DPPO will enable us to review its effectiveness and look at our options, once the results have been analysed at the end of the pilot.”

Borough Commander, Detective Chief Superintendent Jeremy Burton, said: “The use of this power is not directed at stopping people drinking responsibly in public; it is a further tactic in our drive to reduce anti-social behaviour associated with alcohol abuse and misuse. We will continue to work with Lewisham Council and our communities in combating alcohol related disorder and I look forward to the results of this pilot.”

Before the implementation of any DPPO, the Council is required by law to consult with the public. To take part in the consultation go towww.lewisham.gov.uk and click on the ‘Check our active consultations’ and then ‘Lewisham Designated Public Place Order’.

Alternatively, comments can be emailed to communitysafety@lewisham.gov.uk
The consultation ends on 27 August.

54 comments:

darryl said...

Greenwich did something similar earlier this year. No consultation, though, just quietly slipped in at the end of a council meeting and unanimously voted for by all councillors.

Brockley Nick said...

Has it been beneficial?

Reg said...

This is a pile of nonesense.
There has been one such order tried out at Lewisham Way. In particular the Memorial Gardens and the corner of Upper Brockley Road/Lewisham Way. Both have failed miserably to attract police attention. The cops are actually afraid to approach the UBR posse, which regularly openy drink alcohol and distribute banned substances. Whilst at the memorial gardens the superbrew brigade regularly tank up.
There's more chance of me being stopped with a bottle of wine purchased from Tesco - unopened.

Anonymous said...

people should be able to drink in public space.

THNick said...

Reg - the DPPO wouldn't impact on the UBR posse - they don't seem to be drinking irresponsibly and the DPPO does not make drinking in public illegal.
Dealing drugs is, of course, but no more so with a DPPO than without

Monkeyboy said...

it does not ban drinking in public, it gives police the powers to stop it, i guess if they deem it to be a problem. The libertarian in me says this is not good and I don;t like the principle of police being given the powers to dispense justice. Could be open to abuse? but IF (and it's an if) its used appropriatly and reviewed it may be a good idea. I really doubt you'll be stopped having a a few beers with your picnic. I guess one eye is is on the cronic drinkers, but they are right on the skids anyway. Will they care if they are fined? could they pay it anyway? What about treatment?

I'm 50/50 on this one. Some one sway me.

drakefell debaser said...

No Thank You.

Most of these people are alcoholics / homeless etc. You can fine and lock them up all you like. It will not change the situation.

Besides, if you are drunk and disorderly in public, can't a police officer arrest you with the current system?

Anonymous said...

Not only distributing banned substances, but openly smoking them,you can get stoned just walking past there.

Lou Baker said...

Wouldn't it be better to stop selling booze to 14 year olds in the first place ?????

Headhunter said...

Fat chance of this being enforced or the police using these new powers except in extreme circumstances. As Reg points out, there has been an alcohol ban along Lewisham Way for a while and doesn't seem to stop anyone drinking there. In fact the police don't even stop the relatively open drug dealing that has been going on for years at the end of UBR. So, libertarians will have nothing to fear, yet another piece of pointless legislation.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Reg said...

It is a ruse... with the new powers in place the general public will feel something is being done to challenge anti-social behaviour; in Lewisham Way area drinking alcohol to access, aggressive begging at the cashpoint, and the selling of drugs at UBR. It won't of course.
A prime example of the police ignoring unlawful acts when it best suits is the industrial retailing of illegal drugs purchased at a particular late-night store at Brockley X. Don't get me wrong, I've been no saint in my life, but I believe these things, if left unchecked, grow exponentially - and to the detriment of the community.
And before you know it's in your street. A quiet drink? A quiet 'smoke'? Yes, if only.
As for fines for chronic drinkers... confiscation is enough.

Headhunter said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Sick and Tired said...

Why give the alcoholic trouble makers a free issue of stronge cider laced with arsenic?

Problem over in one easy step.

Reg said...

Open secret? I've seen people driving in who had come from other parts of town, each leaving with a single can of beer in a brown bag. Perhaps we should ask them to recycle.

Anonymous said...

Sick and tired, you're a fool. Go away.

paranoid said...

How do you know where they come from?

Anonymous said...

While supermarkets can keep selling booze at loss leader prices we are on a hiding to nothing. The best way of reducing anti social drinking is to reduce access. The Council would do better to impose a borough wide ban on cans of larger less that £1.50

Bill Hicks said...

George Bush says 'we are losing the war on drugs'. Well you know what that implies? There's a war going on, and people on drugs are winning it! Well what does that tell you about drugs? Some smart, creative motherfuckers on that side."

Tamsin said...

Quite - the cost of a pint in a pub is about to go up yet again, discouraging drinking in a relatively safe environment set aside for the purpose where there is a legally responsible person - the licensee - in charge. Any wonder that with booze so criminally cheap in the Supermarkets people go down that route. The big chains keep whittering on about how socially responsible they are - they should act on it and not have alcohol as a loss-leader.

LewishamLovely said...

i agree with it but feel scepital that it will make any difference. the park by the big roundabout in lewisham town centre recently had a similar thing implimented, and beyond a few tiny notices stuck on railings, there has been no difference. the place is still full of antisocial drunks and littered with empty cans. the police do not use their powers.
drinking in public will not become illegal, but lewisham has a problem with drunkards sitting around drinking their cheap brews. they urinate in the same areas and drop their litter everywhere and generally make it unpleasant. why shouldn't they have the drink confiscated?
the new temporary park by lewisham station is already a magnet for drunks and empty cans, making it a place to avoid for everyone else. i'm sure the other one about to open on the other side of the roundabout will be even worse.

Name said...

Frankly life shouldn't be so bleak for some that they want to blot it all out by drinking or (choose your addiction) to excess.

Reg said...

I am totally opposed to increasing the cost of alcohol as a measure to combat this problem.
Why should the majority of good citizens be penalised with such a tax?
I've also never understood why Government, having collected its duty on alcohol, like a common pusher, should seek to increase the bounty under a so-called preventative measure: when it has its citizenry hooked. This actually creates a two-tier society as the economic classes can buy in quantity, and thereby defeat any increase. Perhaps alcohol should be sold at special centres (like in Canada) and not at supermarkets, and small shops.

Anonymous said...

the police used their powers for about a month whilst local MPs were campaigning. Post election...business as usual

Name said...

For all the intelligent and caring people we have in this area can't we come up with something better than this plan, to deal with 'anti-social' behaviour?

There's old people in homes bored out of their skulls, pretty much devoid of human contact. There's younger people drunk, stoned out of the skulls, because there is no meaningful activity.

There is a social entrepreneurial solution to these kinds of issues.

We need a hero...

Anonymous said...

Think the idea is a minimum price, to make products aimed at things like White Ace and other products designed to get you blind drunk. The minimum price is based on unit of alcohol. Don't think the tax take is affected.

WhatsGoingOn said...

Anon 17.15 No your the fool,Obvioulsly you dont know anything about the going's on in UBR,so keep it shut till you do.

Anonymous said...

Why? Will you kill me?

Anonymous said...

Due to complaints about drinkers and beggers a Controlled Drinking Zone was introduced between Catford and Lewisham.

Initially it had an impact on the numbers congregating on the streets, but of late it's nearly back to the levels before the CPZ was introduced.

In the dumbest move an addiction centre was opened in the middle of the CPZ.

The square immediately outside the addiction centre in full public view beside a main thoroughfare for all to see and next to a bus stop has become the drinking parlour for 15-20 indivuals and their dogs.

The slogan of the borough is to make Lewsisham a place to Live, Work and Play. So why does it attract so many who see it as a place to Live, Not work and be Idle?

Anonymous said...

On the same night the Mayor agreed a borough wide DPPO, there was also a proposal to create a 'Designated Drinking Area'.

Yep, the area outside the Addiction Centre was down to become a DDA.

Ignoring those having to pass-by; those wishing to use the bus stop; it's directly opposite a mosque and school; the impact it has on local restaurants and shops.

So where drinkings already congregate and are issue such as the Memorial Gardens and UBR are likely to become Designated Drinking Areas...problem solved.

Anonymous said...

What action can be taken to try alleviate the problem.

There were outreach programmes to assist abusers improve their lives if they are still being run is anyones guess.

In one part of Lewisham where there have been complaints of anti social behavour, local shops have been asked stop selling super-strength alcohol. All have agreed apart from the Co-op.

In the same area a Responsible Retail Traders agreement is being drawn up between Lewisham Council, local Police and businesses.

Retailers will be asked not to sell alcohol to identified people, in an attempt to reduce the level of people congregating in and around businesses.

Marc said...

I'm not in favour of more discretionary powers to be handed out. It's already a buracratic heap and it's another slant to fix results against targets. There should be enough power to move the drunk and disorderly, why create another power which will not solve anything?

Ed said...

Some of the comments on here are almost as depressing as the anti-social behaviour in Brockley.

darryl said...

The Greenwich order's gone pretty much unnoticed, to be honest. I think it was rushed through for the World Cup.

It feels like one of those laws that requires you to have a great trust in the police. A trust, which unfortunately, isn't always there...

In one part of Lewisham where there have been complaints of anti social behavour, local shops have been asked stop selling super-strength alcohol. All have agreed apart from the Co-op.

Whereabouts was this? Surely not the socially reponsible Co-Op?!

Headhunter said...

If you enjoy drinking in the street you have nothing to worry about! This is likely to be a box ticking exercise just like unenforced 20mph speed limits. Councils have to be seen to be doing something so they can quote these things at meetings. Ultimately I'll eat my own head if anything actually changes...

max said...

I think it's referring to the Coop in Hither Green.
We have a large population of drunks here, because of the local homeless institutions.
I actually agree with Coop, there's no reason to take away items from shelves. Take away everything and people that want to get high will sniff glue or who knows what else.

oryx said...

Street drinkers (like 'the poor') are always likely to be with us.

I am old enough to remember the days before ridiculously cheap booze. Did that stop people drinking the streets?

No - instead of White Lighting or whatever, these poor addicted s*ds drank meths.

What we need is better access to programmes which will try to wean people off their addiction, or wet hostels where controlled drinking is allowed and 'street' drinkers are given some kind of support.

lb said...

Perhaps the Brockley Society could get in some heritage street drinkers?

Incidentally, Oryx is completely correct, of course. The lack of cheap booze made no difference forty and more years ago.

monkeyboy said...

I do like that etching. Everytime someone bangs on about getting back to the 'old days' and 'traditional values' I think cholera and depravation. Also notice the ramshackle housing? That the reality of vast parts of London at the time. The low quality housing has simply fallen down, the barrat housing of the 19th Century.

Of course now a G&T with a slice of lime is middle class summer tipple.

Anonymous said...

As a woman walking alone, that end of UBR is REALLY intimidating. A group of drunk/stoned blokes hanging around on the street just isn't nice. I've never been abused in any way- and I've never seen anyone fall-down drunk (but I wouldn't walk there later on in the day), but as I've walked past there is always either a sudden stony silence, or a 'Hello Darlin' so I do tend to avoid it whenever possible. Can't Honeypot open a beer garden for them..? They'd make a lot of money!

Anonymous said...

Out of control alcoholics need to be helped find a less self destructive lifestyle. Finding treatment is not easy, rehabilation clinics are not cheap and they don't go out of their way to find new custom. It all costs time and money.

There are plenty of people who have such dire problems and are not helped by the health and social services.

That, maybe is a greater scandal. We pay large amounts in taxes and all we get is something like these controlled drinking zones.

Having said that, even more organised countries like Sweden (the spiritual home of social workers) have yet to come up with a solution to alcohol addiction. Though, they make a good effort to sweep it under the carpet.

That seems to be what many people would be happy with: out of sight, out of mind.

The UK has a hideous problem with alcohol addiction that we seem prepared to tolerate and are only moved to action when the derelicts of the streets become too much of an eyesore.

It seems so wrong.

Paul gascoigne said...

Don't know what all the fuss is about.

george best said...

never did me any harm

Oliver Reed said...

Or me.

Peter Doherty said...

booze is for jessies

Hunter S Thomson said...

"We had two bags of grass, seventy-five pellets of mescaline, five sheets of high-powered blotter acid, a saltshaker half-full of cocaine and a whole multicolored collection of uppers, downers, laughers, screamers . . . Also, a quart of tequila, a quart of rum, a case of beer, a pint of raw ether and two dozen amyls. Not that we needed all that for the trip, but once you get into a serious drug collection, the tendency is to push it as far as you can. The only thing that really worried me was the ether. There is nothing in the world more helpless and irresponsible and depraved than a man in the depths of an ether binge and I knew we'd get into that rotten stuff pretty soon

Unless Lewisham gets annoyed

Headhunter said...

To be honest there is only so much that can be done about alcohol addiction. We can't pour every last cent of taxpayers money into programmes and hostels for impoverished alcoholics. As Hogarth's etching illustrates, alcoholism has existed since time immemorial and ain't about to go away. Prohibition simply pushes it into illegal bars. People with addictive personalities seem to always find something.

I had a couple of friends in Japan who were hooked on amphetamine which, out there is very easy to get, cheap and is very pure, unlike in the UK where it's cut with all sorts of rubbish. Both of them finally managed to tear themselves away from the white stuff but following that more or less becom alcoholics. One of them has since tried to address his alcoholism and has been completely dry for almost a year but he drinks literally litres (it seems) of coffee per day....

Brockley Nick said...

Say what you like about Hitler, but at least he kept the alchies off the streets, eh Headhunter? ;)

Headhunter said...

Damn right.... I bet he would have taken a firm hand in the Brockley Society and got rid of all those bleedin' satellite dishes as well...

Anonymous said...

That seems an absurdly fatalistic attitude: some people are prone to addictive illness, so there is nothing much that can be done.

We are prone infection, cancers, mental illness, car accidents and a whole range of other liabilities, but we do try to address these public health challenges and limit the damage they do.

However, some of these things get resources and others do not. Why? Addictions and mental health issues seem to be pretty much at the bottom of the heap, and I can see no good reason for this.

We live with the consequences of this neglect which are serious, not only for the sufferer, but many of the people around them.

This public drinking initiative is papering over the cracks.

Headhunter said...

You're probably right, I suppose feeding and addiction is perceived to be self inflicted whereas diseases are not perceived that way, unless you're a 30 a day smoker and your lungs shut down. However cancer can also affect people who have led relatively healthy lifestyles.

Also the general image we get in the press etc of someone with an addiction is one of someone stealing and committing crime to inject heroin or whatever, or of a smelly drunk talking to himself and generally causing a nuisance.

Addiction suffers from an image problem.

David Leal said...

This is part of a dangerous trend - it does not make drinking in public legal or illegal. Instead it gives arbitrary powers to the police - drinking in public is illegal if they say it is.

We are moving away from "The rule of Law", to arbitrary assessments of who is "good" and who is "bad". The good can do what they like and the bad will be persecuted.

Headhunter said...

Interesting article about all these public "consultations" initiated by the public sector. AKA "nonsultations".... Perhaps cutting down on "nonsultations" would save taxpayers money?

Anonymous said...

I'm bakin' in my shoots-hic

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