Nottingham councillors have given the go-ahead to extend the street drinking ban throughout Nottingham.
The ban, which is already in place in the city centre, Sneinton, Forest Fields and Hyson Green, will enable police and community support officers to confiscate alcohol as well as fine perpetrators £50 on the spot, and up to £500 following prosecution.
1 in 5 citizens regard street drinking and drunken behaviour as a ‘big or very big problem’ in their local area
The ban is intended to prevent crime and anti-social behaviour, as well as encourage responsible drinking. Despite the extension, the powers remain discretionary.
A Respect for Nottingham Survey in 2012 found that 1 in 5 citizens regard street drinking and drunken behaviour as a ‘big or very big problem’ in their local area.
Public response to the ban has been generally positive. Council leader Jon Collins stated that 10,000 people supported the proposals before they were passed, and told Impact that 553 people and businesses responded to a consultation in favour of the ban.
Collins has placed his faith in the ban, commenting: “It has worked well in other areas of the city where it has been introduced, and I know this from experience in my own ward at Sneinton Market.”
A spokesperson for Nottinghamshire Police, sharing Collins’ sentiment, said the order had been successful in parts of the city where it had been introduced.
“This move could increase friction between police and students”.
“It’s a concern raised by people across the city and where orders have been introduced. People feel safer as they enable us to tackle rowdy, drunken or threatening behaviour.
“By introducing it across the whole city, we can deal with it comprehensively rather than problems moving from one place to another”.
Students at the University of Nottingham have also commented on the ban, however opinion has proven to be divided.
Matthew Brown, second year Pharmacy student, believes the ban could have detrimental effects.
“On nights out I see many students drinking in the streets and around Lenton, and it’s generally harmless.
This move could increase friction between police and students, and this will not further efforts on the council’s behalf to get more in touch our student body.”
Student Daniel Andrews, on the other hand, supported the ban.
“I believe that the ban could only bring positive things
Nobody needs to drink on the street and provided the ban doesn’t impose on innocent activities such as the Christmas markets, I think it could be well received.”
Image credit: Kotivalo via Wikimedia Commons.
Read Impact Comment’s take on the issue here.