Get­ting tough on park drink­ing

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - 24 - By MATTHEW REVILLE

A PLAN to clamp down on anti-so­cial drink­ing near a city play­ground has been en­dorsed by a coun­cil­lors.

Peter­bor­ough City Coun­cil’s Strong and Sup­port­ive Com­mu­ni­ties Scru­tiny Com­mit­tee met on Wed­nes­day and agreed to rec­om­mend that an or­der be put in place to tackle anti-so­cial drink­ing in the Flet­ton Ward.

The Des­ig­nated Pub­lic Places Or­der would be put on the Recre­ation Ground, off Oun­dle Road in Wood­ston.

It would mean that con­sum­ing al­co­hol in the des­ig­nated area, af­ter be­ing asked to stop by a po­lice of­fi­cer, would be­come an of­fence.

The pun­ish­ment could in­clude a fine of up to £500.

Com­mit­tee chair­man Cllr Mar­ion Todd said: “I do sup­port the rec­om­men­da­tion very strongly.

“There is a prob­lem with al­co­hol cans and vodka bot­tles and any­one who has walked a dog will know how eas­ily they can cause in­jury.

“That can be dis­tress­ing for the dog and the owner them­selves.”

Peter­bor­ough City Coun­cil put for­ward the ap­pli­ca­tion for the or­der be­cause of on­go­ing is­sues with anti-so­cial be­hav­iour be­ing re­ported to coun­cil­lors and po­lice.

The prob­lem has been go­ing on for sev­eral years and is par­tic­u­larly bad in the sum­mer months.

Be­tween March 2008 and Fe­bru­ary 2010, there were an av­er­age of 13 in­ci­dents per month oc­cur­ring in the area of the recre­ation ground, with com­plaints peak­ing in July and Au­gust.

Man­ager of the Safer­Peter­bor­ough Part­ner­ship Chris­tine Gra­ham, who pre­sented the rec­om­men­da­tions to the coun­cil com­mit­tee, said: “This will not make it an of­fence to have al­co­hol.

“It is mak­ing it an of­fence to refuse to stop drink­ing al­co­hol when asked to by a po­lice of­fi­cer.

“We have had re­quests from a num­ber of mem­bers of the pub­lic in the neigh­bour­hood to look into bring­ing in some­thing to help stop the be­hav­iour.”

Com­mit­tee mem­ber Cllr Stephen Gold­spink also en­dorsed the plans and has called for the specifics of the prob­lem to be looked into in fur­ther de­tail by the Flet­ton Neigh­bour­hood Coun­cil.

He said: “It seems to be a step for­ward and it would be good to send it to the neigh­bour­hood coun­cil.

“This is not a par­tic­u­larly con­tro­ver­sial mat­ter and it would be good to have them look­ing into it.”

The area which would fall un­der the Des­ig­nated Pub­lic Places Or­der is the recre­ation ground it­self and streets be­tween Queens Walk, Palmer­ston Road, the A605 and the train tracks to the west.

The scru­tiny com­mit­tee re­ferred its rec­om­men­da­tion to be put be­fore the full coun­cil on July 14, where coun­cil­lors it will be de­cided if it will be adopted.

PROB­LEMS: Wood­ston Recre­ation Ground where an or­der is to be put in place to tackle an­ti­so­cial be­hav­iour. (METP-01-04-10GM054)

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