Huntingdon residents want more to be done to stop street drinkers
- Credit: Archant
Residents are calling for action to tackle the problem of street drinkers who beg, fight and intimidate people.
A woman, a regular user of Huntingdon bus station who asked not to be named, said she had been trying to get the authorities to solve the issue for more than a year.
She explained that drinkers were often in the area throughout the day, and had also been spotted behaving anti-socially in the town’s market square, Bloomfield Park and Sapley Square.
She said: “People are being intimidated by them and they are begging people for money. This has been going on for four years now, but it’s got worse because now there is a group of about six or seven and they cause a nuisance and urinate everywhere.
“It has got really bad over the last 18 months with the begging.
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“I would like to see a copper going round every day to move them on. We need action now, it is interfering with people’s day-to-day lives.”
Chief Inspector Laura Hunt said police were aware of the issue of street drinking which had been a priority for officers to tackle for a number of weeks.
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“PS Aaron Murphy, the problem-solving sergeant for the Huntingdon part of the district, is working with partners (notably, Huntingdonshire District Council) to deal with the concerns on a longer-term basis,” she added.
A spokesman for HDC explained that it was carrying out a public consultation to bring in a Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) for Huntingdon town centre - specifically the area inside the ring road.
The new orders replace Designated Public Places Orders and, if imposed, would be the first for Huntingdon.
It would mean people will not be allowed to be in possession of open containers of alcohol or behave in a way that is likely to cause alarm, harassment, or distress.
Those who breach the rules will be considered to have committed a criminal offence and can be issued with fines.
HDC is also looking to enforce similar legislation in Huntingdon North Ward. Similar orders already exist in St Ives, in Warner’s Park and the town centre.
A PSPO imposes conditions on the use of an area which apply to everyone. If the results of the consultation are supportive of a PSPO, it is likely that it will be imposed and could be in place before Christmas.
As part of the consultation, letters will be sent to businesses, community groups and organisations.
People can also send comments to HDC’s anti-social behaviour case worker Mandi Brown.”
INFORMATION: Email comments to mandi.brown@ huntingdonshire.gov.uk.