Street drinkers in Nottingham can now be fined £70

In an attempt to curb antisocial drinking, Community Protection Officers (CPOs) can now fine you £70 if you are caught drinking on the streets of Nottingham.

From now, a Community Protection Officer can:
• Require a person not to consume alcohol
• Require a person to surrender any alcohol in his/her possession
• Dispose of the alcohol
• Issue a fine of £70

When Impact asked if the change was a result of student behaviour, Nottingham City Council said: “Students weren’t specifically a factor.”

“this Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) only applies to street drinking associated with antisocial behaviours”

“This is a continuation of plans to keep the active night-time economy in Nottingham safe. It is an indiscriminate penalty. You could be a student or 70 years old; responsible drinking is what we’re promoting here.”

Indeed, some CPOs and other authorised officers were already allowed to stop people drinking in public places under certain circumstances. But the new rules, which came into force on 20th October 2017, now covers the whole City of Nottingham and its suburbs.

Becky, a third-year student from the University of Nottingham, told Impact: “It’s a good idea to widen it to the whole of Nottingham and not just to Derby Road. This makes it clear that it is indiscriminate.”

“a majority of students drink before they go out”

It is important to note that if you do comply and surrender the alcohol when asked by an officer, then there should be no fine.

Nottingham City Council added that “this Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) only applies to street drinking associated with antisocial behaviours. A quiet drink during a picnic in the park, for example, is not an issue and someone in that circumstance would not receive a fine.”

Sam, a third-year student, said: “I don’t think [this] will do much for curbing anti-social behaviour.” Speaking of students, Sam said that “a majority of students drink before they go out. [Therefore] the effect of the fine will be limited.”

Pamela Tickell

Featured image courtesy of ‘Ralf Steinberger’ via Flickr. License here.
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