DRUNKS drinking on the streets of Skegness are abusing passers-by, a councillor fears.
Coun Carl Macey asked about the police response to the problem at a Skegness Town Council meeting after several of his constituents complained to him about the issue.
As a Designated Public Place Order (DPPO) exists in the town centre to prevent such behaviour, Coun Macey questioned why it was not being enforced.
Sergeant Jim Manning explained that the DPPO was not a ‘blanket ban’ on street drinking but a tool to combat its antisocial effects.
“People can drink on the street and not break the DPPO but if people are drinking on the street and acting antisocially the police have the power to confiscate the alcohol or throw it away, and if they refuse they can be charged,” he said.
Sgt Manning claimed the police carried out such enforcement on a ‘weekly basis’ and that the perpetrators of such offences were not homeless, as some may assume, but a ‘hardcore group’ that gather as their means of socialising.
Coun Macey was also concerned the newly refurbished area outside the Railway Station would act as a ‘magnet’ for antisocial drunks and asked what preventative measures were being taken by the police.
Sgt Manning agreed that the presence of drunks by the station would not create a desirable first impression for people visiting the town by rail.
“It’s going to be a real focus point for Skegness and when people arrive they don’t want to be greeted by people drinking,” he said.
However, he explained that the station and surrounding area is currently owned by Network Rail soon to be transferred to East Coast Railways and is therefore covered by railway by-laws prohibiting such behaviour.
Transport Police is therefore the authority responsible for enforcing the by-law, although Sgt Manning explained his fellow officers from Skegness would be available to assist.
During peak times a private security company would also be on hand to ensure the by-laws were ‘rigorously enforced.’