Shops asked to help tackle Wycombe street drinking

Bucks Free Press: Shops asked to help tackle Wycombe street drinking Shops asked to help tackle Wycombe street drinking

OFF-LICENCES are to be asked to refrain from selling cheap super-strength alcohol in a bid to tackle street drinking in High Wycombe.

Licence holders are being urged to take part in a voluntary prohibition of cut-price high-alcohol drinks such as white cider in a bid to slash crime and disorder in the town centre.

The early proposals by Wycombe District Council could also see a concerted effort to move street drinkers out of the designated zone.

Members of the High Wycombe Town Committee backed the draft plans on Tuesday night. Council officers will now consult affected parties and report back with its findings to WDC’s Licensing Committee.

Cllr Alan Hill said he hoped agencies would get behind the idea and said, if successful, it could be rolled out across the district.

Cllr Trevor Snaith and Cllr Sebert Graham were broadly in support but said the authorities also needed to support people with drinking habits and not just keep moving them on to someone else’s doorstep.

Cllr Graham said: "There’s a problem and we cannot keep saying ‘keep going, keep going’, someone must have that responsibility."

Wycombe’s deputy area police commander, Chief Inspector Colin Seaton, believes stopping the sale of cheap high-alcohol products is a good move but does not think it is a long-term solution.

He is championing the introduction of a ‘wet room’ where street boozers can drink in a controlled environment with support workers around them.

He said: "Street drinking is often anti-social and damaging to the quality of public spaces and residential areas. The selling of super strength alcohol only increases the problem.

"The town centre has historically been an area of choice for a number of street drinkers and it has been recognised by the community as their primary policing concern in the town centre.

"Banning street drinkers may have some benefits for the community but can only be a short term measure, there are no benefits for the individual, and will not result in any positive changes to their behaviour.

"Rather than banning street drinkers, I would like to propose the introduction of a wet facility, where help, guidance and encouragement to change their lifestyle is on hand and provided by trained professionals.

"This is far more likely to be a long term solution to a local problem."

The initiative follows the lead of Westminster City Council which implemented a successful scheme in 2009.

Comments (8)

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10:16am Thu 24 Jan 13

Stand up for England says...

Rates are up, business is down and your asking shop keepers to now be even more charitable ... take your head out of your ar*es and just look at how hard some people are doing it at the moment. WDC ... you really are so OUT of touch ... !!!
Rates are up, business is down and your asking shop keepers to now be even more charitable ... take your head out of your ar*es and just look at how hard some people are doing it at the moment. WDC ... you really are so OUT of touch ... !!! Stand up for England

11:36am Thu 24 Jan 13

ThePolice says...

Drinking in Wycombe town centre is an arrestable offence. So it's the police who need to get off their backsides, nick them (they know who they are), put them before the courts and, if they can't pay the fines, lock them up.

Simples
Drinking in Wycombe town centre is an arrestable offence. So it's the police who need to get off their backsides, nick them (they know who they are), put them before the courts and, if they can't pay the fines, lock them up. Simples ThePolice

11:59am Thu 24 Jan 13

Mr Wicks says...

These off licenses and foreign food shops are in breach of their licensing agreement in serving persons under the influence which they continually do.
Shut them down and send everyone to the supermarket. Cheaper and they don't serve the drunks.
These off licenses and foreign food shops are in breach of their licensing agreement in serving persons under the influence which they continually do. Shut them down and send everyone to the supermarket. Cheaper and they don't serve the drunks. Mr Wicks

4:16pm Thu 24 Jan 13

Slacker says...

Mr Wicks wrote:
These off licenses and foreign food shops are in breach of their licensing agreement in serving persons under the influence which they continually do.
Shut them down and send everyone to the supermarket. Cheaper and they don't serve the drunks.
You need to back up that accusation with evidence or retract it as it is libellous. Evidence does not mean you have seen someone be served. Just because one shop may do it, does not mean all the shops are doing it and it does not mean supermarkets are not doing it.
[quote][p][bold]Mr Wicks[/bold] wrote: These off licenses and foreign food shops are in breach of their licensing agreement in serving persons under the influence which they continually do. Shut them down and send everyone to the supermarket. Cheaper and they don't serve the drunks.[/p][/quote]You need to back up that accusation with evidence or retract it as it is libellous. Evidence does not mean you have seen someone be served. Just because one shop may do it, does not mean all the shops are doing it and it does not mean supermarkets are not doing it. Slacker

7:56pm Thu 24 Jan 13

ThePedant says...

My interpretation of Section 141 of the Licensing Act 2003 is that it is an offence to sell alcohol to a person who is drunk. Section 142 also makes it an offence for anyone to obtain alcohol for someone who is drunk.

So... If licensed premises in Wycombe are in breach of Section 141, why are they (apparently) not being prosecuted?

The chances are that it would only need one person in breach of Section 141 to end up in court to put a stop to this activity.
My interpretation of Section 141 of the Licensing Act 2003 is that it is an offence to sell alcohol to a person who is drunk. Section 142 also makes it an offence for anyone to obtain alcohol for someone who is drunk. So... If licensed premises in Wycombe are in breach of Section 141, why are they (apparently) not being prosecuted? The chances are that it would only need one person in breach of Section 141 to end up in court to put a stop to this activity. ThePedant

10:08pm Thu 24 Jan 13

realist_highwycombe says...

ThePedant wrote:
My interpretation of Section 141 of the Licensing Act 2003 is that it is an offence to sell alcohol to a person who is drunk. Section 142 also makes it an offence for anyone to obtain alcohol for someone who is drunk.

So... If licensed premises in Wycombe are in breach of Section 141, why are they (apparently) not being prosecuted?

The chances are that it would only need one person in breach of Section 141 to end up in court to put a stop to this activity.
Because it would need to be witnessed by the police in order for it to stand up in court.

I.E. Just because someone may have been witnessed by an MOP is not good enough.

The only way this could be done would be by way of undercover tacticw which are very costly and resource intensive.

I think it's a simple one really - stop selling special brew at a quid a can! Nobody but these people drink it and shop keepers know that.

I think the Chief Inspector in this article is onto a good idea with a wet room. Many cities operate these and they seem to have dramatically reduced the amount of people on the streets intimidating people etc.

The police can lock em up but the courts will let em out again. If they can drink in these places and if they want it, get help for said addiction surely that can only be a good thing?
[quote][p][bold]ThePedant[/bold] wrote: My interpretation of Section 141 of the Licensing Act 2003 is that it is an offence to sell alcohol to a person who is drunk. Section 142 also makes it an offence for anyone to obtain alcohol for someone who is drunk. So... If licensed premises in Wycombe are in breach of Section 141, why are they (apparently) not being prosecuted? The chances are that it would only need one person in breach of Section 141 to end up in court to put a stop to this activity.[/p][/quote]Because it would need to be witnessed by the police in order for it to stand up in court. I.E. Just because someone may have been witnessed by an MOP is not good enough. The only way this could be done would be by way of undercover tacticw which are very costly and resource intensive. I think it's a simple one really - stop selling special brew at a quid a can! Nobody but these people drink it and shop keepers know that. I think the Chief Inspector in this article is onto a good idea with a wet room. Many cities operate these and they seem to have dramatically reduced the amount of people on the streets intimidating people etc. The police can lock em up but the courts will let em out again. If they can drink in these places and if they want it, get help for said addiction surely that can only be a good thing? realist_highwycombe

3:38pm Fri 25 Jan 13

J B Blackett says...

When this was enforced before (about 5-6 years ago , all that happened was the 'town-drinkers' were displaced to other areas where they continued their usual habits to the detriment of those 'new' areas.
.
Once the heat was off , they gradually moved back again. They are easily identifiable and I guess are well-know to the police and authorities. They obviously are not getting the help/support they need if they continue in that way.
.
Very few shops have been prosecuted for selling alcohol to drunks or the under-aged. The ones that are always vigorously deny it and accuse the police of discrimination.
.
One near the bus station got 'done' 3 times in a short space of time and although found guilty each time , claimed he'd never done anything wrong. As they do.
When this was enforced before (about 5-6 years ago , all that happened was the 'town-drinkers' were displaced to other areas where they continued their usual habits to the detriment of those 'new' areas. . Once the heat was off , they gradually moved back again. They are easily identifiable and I guess are well-know to the police and authorities. They obviously are not getting the help/support they need if they continue in that way. . Very few shops have been prosecuted for selling alcohol to drunks or the under-aged. The ones that are always vigorously deny it and accuse the police of discrimination. . One near the bus station got 'done' 3 times in a short space of time and although found guilty each time , claimed he'd never done anything wrong. As they do. J B Blackett

1:55am Sat 26 Jan 13

buftonp13 says...

These people come to town to drink so there not on there own. They need somewhere to drink without having to go to expensive pubs. And its very well these councilors and MPs who earn a great deal of money saying put up the prices but whys that fair, they can afford to buy what they want some people cant afford expensive alcohol which is why they buy cheap strong alcohol. They are just atacking the lifes of the poor.
No one can argue that abusive threatening behavour has no place in our town centre but thats down to the police and courts to sort out, thats there job. Not putting up the price of a product which should not be that high because its a cheap sub standard product for a reason, its poor quality..
These people come to town to drink so there not on there own. They need somewhere to drink without having to go to expensive pubs. And its very well these councilors and MPs who earn a great deal of money saying put up the prices but whys that fair, they can afford to buy what they want some people cant afford expensive alcohol which is why they buy cheap strong alcohol. They are just atacking the lifes of the poor. No one can argue that abusive threatening behavour has no place in our town centre but thats down to the police and courts to sort out, thats there job. Not putting up the price of a product which should not be that high because its a cheap sub standard product for a reason, its poor quality.. buftonp13

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