By Lara Cerroni
24 January 2011
Plans to introduce a borough-wide drinking
control zone to curb alcohol-related anti-social behaviour have
been given the go-ahead.
Although it does not ban people from
drinking in public, the designated public order zone provides the
council and police with the power to react quickly and effectively
to drunken disturbance.
It will provide Tower Hamlets enforcement
officers (THEOs) and the police with the powers to stop people and
confiscate, demand and dispose of any alcohol within the boundaries
of Tower Hamlets.
A public consultation will take place to
give residents and businesses an opportunity to express their views
before the scheme is introduced.
The borough has three drinking control
zones – in Whitechapel, Bethnal Green and Shoreditch – while a
number of neighbouring boroughs have already introduced
borough-wide drinking control zones.
Mayor Lutfur Rahman, who has given the
proposals the green light, said: “We want our residents to feel
safe in their community and that mean tackling anti-social
behaviour head on.
“Alcohol often leads people to become
a nuisance and these new powers mean the council can work with the
police to put a stop to it, when and where it happens.”
Police Superintendent Mark Wolski added:
“Alcohol-related violence is a challenge to our community. The
anti-social behaviour associated with misuse of alcohol is widely
held as a priority for action.
“The imposition of controlled drinking
zones will be one more tool by which we can police the streets more
effectively, in accordance with local needs.”
The initial control zones have proved
successful, giving the council and police a good understanding of
how they can operate and improve the quality of life for
However, their success has seen street
drinkers move to other areas of the borough, forcing the council to
introduce the borough-wide control zones.
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.