As part of an effort to tackle binge drinking, local councils can now use new by-laws to impose blanket bans on drinking in public places like parks and on the streets.
It has been suggested that Nottingham will be the first city to enforce the ban, which will allow police to confiscate alcohol if seen in a public place. Richard Antcliff, Nottingham’s chief anti social behaviour officer, claims that this new ban is aimed at ridding the city of “loutish behaviour” caused by drinking in the streets.
This may be seen as an attempt to backtrack from the Licensing Act of 2005, which involved the liberalisation of drinking laws by allowing 24 hour licensing of alcohol. With Gordon Brown promising a review on 24 hour drinking, this new legislation may come as welcome news to those who believe current laws aren’t doing enough to curb drunk and disorderly behaviour.
Concerns have also been raised, however, about the effect the ban will have on light, social drinkers. Critics like Dylan Sharpe of Big Brother Watch claim that the new ban may “create criminals out of law-abiding people.” The effectiveness of the new ban will come down to how the police deal with different situations in the enforcement of the new laws.
Nottingham looks set to put their blanket ban drinking policy into effect as early as next year.