London SE1 website team

Crackdown on antisocial drinking

Councillors last week backed moves to introduce new measures to penalise and confiscate alcohol from nuisance drinkers in areas such as Mint Street Park.

Southwark Council assembly last week agreed to an alcohol control area which will cover about 85 per cent of the borough.

Police will be able to confiscate alcohol from anyone causing a nuisance in public, and if they refuse to stop drinking they can be arrested and prosecuted.

Community wardens will will be able to confiscate alcohol and issue fines.

"This isn't about stopping people enjoying a glass of wine at a picnic in the park or from enjoying a drink outside the pub," says Jeff Hook, executive member for community safety.

"At the moment police only have one option which is to arrest a person for being drunk and disorderly or causing a public nuisance. Now they will be able to stop the problem in its tracks by confiscating alcohol before the situation gets out of hand.

"We are going to clean up Southwark by tackling head on the issue of nuisance drinking in a number of areas in the borough. It's not acceptable for people to have to put up with a small minority vomiting, fighting and urinating in the street."

The council says that three quarters of those who took part in a consultation agreed with the plans.

A training programme for people imposing the fines and a publicity campaign to make the public aware of the new rules will be carried out before the powers are enforced.

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