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BOOZE BAN IN KIDDERMINSTER TOWN CENTRE TO BE EXTENDED

An alcohol ban in Kidderminster town centre is to be extended for three more years.

The existing ban, introduced in 2015 to deter street drinking in the main retail areas, has been extended to 2021.

Representatives from West Mercia Police, Kidderminster Town Council, ward councillors and the Police and Crime Commissioner for West Mercia were among those who supported the renewal of a Public Spaces Protection Order.

Only around 60 local residents completed a recent survey. Around 50 of them supported giving authorised officers the power to stop people drinking in public when asked; while around 45 of them agreed officers should be able to request drinkers to hand over alcohol.

Councillor Juliet Smith, Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure and Community Protection said: “From our ongoing work with West Mercia Police we understand the importance of tackling irresponsible drinking in Kidderminster town centre. The results of the consultation show that we also have the backing of local organisations and residents.”

Inspector Jake Wright, of West Mercia Police, said: “The consultation results show a desire to keep Kidderminster town centre free from irresponsible drinking. I remain committed to work alongside the local authority to ensure that we maximise the opportunities for intervention and enforcement where evidence exists that individuals are breaching the Public Spaces Protection Order.”

The use of PSPOs by local authorities has been questioned by some campaigners who say it is a way of criminalising non-criminal behaviour and activity.

The organisation Liberty say the orders, first introduced in 2014, are primarily used against the most vulnerable groups in society, including the homeless, and that existing powers are sufficient to deal with anyone causing a nuisance. In some councils PSPOs have been used to ban rough sleeping, busking and public speaking.

 

 

 

Jane Haynes
Former newspaper journalist and news editor, turned public sector PR, now studying for a Master's in multiplatform journalism. Wyrelife is a new, local investigative news website for Kidderminster, Bewdley, Stourport and Wyre Forest. My aim is to hold people and organisations to account to try to make my little bit of England a better informed, better place.
http://www.janerockhouse.wordpress.com

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