In response to concerns from the public about alcohol abuse in the Town, St Helens Council consulted with the borough’s communities with regards to introducing a borough-wide alcohol ban. As a result, the Alcohol Designatory Order came into effect on 1 July 2007 and will be used to help tackle this problem.
The Order gives the Council the right to agree areas where people cannot drink alcohol if asked by the Police not to do so (eg in a street, in parks or open spaces). Police have powers to control the consumption of alcohol within the designated area. If they believe someone is comsuming alcohol, Officers can ask them to stop and confiscate alcohol from people.
If someone without reasonable excuse fails to comply with the Officer’s request, they are committing an offence and further action can be taken, including:-
A Fixed Penalty Notice for Disorder can be issued
Arrest and prosecution for a level 2 fine (maximum £500)
Bail conditions can be used to stop the individual from drinking in public
Is it an outright ban on drinking in public?
No – it’s not an offence to drink alcohol in a public place, but it is if people don’t stop when asked to do so by a Police Officer.
Why are some areas of the Borough not included?
The Order only includes areas where there has been a problem with anti-social behaviour caused by public drinking. All 16 Wards are covered. Some rural areas which haven’t had these problems are not included in the Order, but these areas will continue to be monitored. A map of the Designatory Order is located in the Beacon Building (Safer Communities Department).
Constable Kevin Ward from the Licensing Department at St Helens Police Station commented "The Designatory Order will help Police and partners tackle cime, disorder and anti-social behaviour. In addition, it will address the problems identified by residents of people drinking in the streets, residential parks and open spaces. The Order is being robustly enforced and since the beginning of this year, we have seized over 1800 units of alcohol."
Councillor Teresa Sims, Executive Member for Safer Communities, said: "Indications show that alcohol designatory orders do work. As they cover all wards and nearly all areas of the Borough this gives great comfort to people whose lives are sometimes blighted by anti social behaviour caused by binge drinking and other alcohol related crime."