Police have taken action on street drinkers in Skegness after a number of complaints that residents were feeling intimidated.
A 17-hour dispersal notice was sanctioned by magistrates last Thursday to give police the power to move drinkers on, which was effective until 7am the following morning.
Two notices were issued to members of the public, outlining the areas covered – mainly Lumley Road, Lumley Avenue, Grand Parade and South Parade.
Our online story attracted numerous comments with Matthew Coutts asking: “Why can’t we have more plain clothed officers on duty tackling this issue? Surely that’s the only way you will catch them out?”
However, East Lindsey’s new Acting Chief Insp Colin Haigh, who was until Monday’s promotion coast inspector, said police will always take action where there is ‘harassment, harm or distress’ – but incidents must be reported.
He said: “We were able to take action on Thursday because when I stood before a judge in court to get the dispersal notice sanctioned, I was able to show 10 reported incidents since May where people were feeling threatened.
“And yet every day I see numerous people on social media complaining about street drinkers.
“It isn’t enough for us to act just because people don’t like the look of people sat on a bench drinking.
“We can’t target people sat on the beach having a beer with a picnic or those stood outside a bar talking – the resort relies on this business.
“People don’t understand this though. But if they see drinkers shouting, swearing and being intimidating and they report it, we will act.”
The weekend also saw another successful Operation California in Skegness, with statistics showing police are winning their war against drugs along the coast.
An offender was cautioned for possession of cocaine during the operation with East Lindsey District Council at Yates’s on Grand Parade on Saturday night. Customers were swabbed on entry and two misuse of drugs searches took place.
Insp Haigh said: “Over the last year we have seen positive indications of drugs go down as the public are now aware we are testing more often.”
He said it was a “very good response from the public and Yates’s wine bar”.