Blitz on teenage drinkers

TEENAGE drinkers in part of St Ives risk fines of up to £500 with the introduction of Huntingdonshire s first designated public places order . Public consultation on the proposal ended last week, with no objections and five letters of support from the pu

TEENAGE drinkers in part of St Ives risk fines of up to £500 with the introduction of Huntingdonshire's first "designated public places order".

Public consultation on the proposal ended last week, with no objections and five letters of support from the public.

It will become operative in the Wheatfields recreation area, probably in the first week of May.

Councillor John Sadler, chairman of the licensing and protection panel, which made the order, told The Hunts Post: "There has been a catalogue of incidents of young people drinking, causing damage in the park and to neighbours' fences, throwing bottles over fences, riding motorbikes around and general other problems.

"It's compounded by the fact that there's a one-stop shop nearby, where the older ones buy alcohol for those under age. There's been a lot of late-night merry-making."

The powers make it easier for local authorities to designate places where restrictions on public drinking will apply and are available in areas that have experienced alcohol-related disorder or nuisance.

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While it is not an offence to consume alcohol within a designated area, the police, police community support officers and people accredited through a community safety accreditation scheme have powers to control the consumption of alcohol there. If they believe someone is consuming alcohol or intends to consume alcohol, they can require them to stop and confiscate the drink even if it has not been opened.

Failure to comply with the officer's request without a reasonable excuse exposes people to the risk of a £50 penalty notice for disorder, arrest and prosecution, with a fine of up to £500 if convicted.

Bail conditions can be used to stop the offender from drinking in public.

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