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Posted by: John Brace | 4th October 2013

Wirral Council councillors agree to consult on extra police powers for Birkenhead booze crackdown


Wirral Council councillors agree to consult on extra police powers for Birkenhead booze crackdown

                        

Continues from Licensing, Health and Safety and General Purposes Committee Wednesday 2nd October 2013.

A Wirral Council officer introduced the report referring to the existing alcohol free zones in Birkenhead, Prenton and Upton as well as the proposed boundaries for the new one. She said that before making an order there would have to be a period of consultation. Wirral Council would need to consult with Merseyside Police, each Premises Licence Holder or Club Premises Certificate holder in Birkenhead and owners or occupiers of land in Birkenhead. A notice would also have to be published in a local newspaper and twenty-eight days allowed for representations. She said that Merseyside Police were present to give details about their evidence on specific problems associated with alcohol.

The Chair invited Merseyside Police to comment. Merseyside Police explained why they were requesting the order, gave statistics about various alcohol related incidents reported to them and explained how only part of Birkenhead was covered by the existing order. They felt that an order covering all of Birkenhead would deal with any displacement problems. Merseyside Police referred to comments from Birkenhead businesses stating that they had lost customers as they don’t feel safe and referred to a particular problem outside St. Werburgh’s Primary School where adults were buying alcohol and cigarettes for teenagers. A street drinker had told a police officer that he drank in Birkenhead Park because it was not covered by the existing Designated Public Places Order. A petition of four hundred and sixty-two people was also in favour of the new Designated Public Places Order covering all of Birkenhead.

One of the police officers showed the Committee maps from a report they had commissioned that showed maps where the worst alcohol related antisocial behaviour and violence was. In their view the existing alcohol free zone in central Birkenhead wasn’t fit for purpose. The Chair thanked the police officers and opened it up to the councillors to ask questions.

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