Putting the bar on town centre drinkers

AN alcohol-free zone is being considered for Baldock. The idea was discussed at the area committee meeting, but a final decision is on hold as councillors await a report. Arbury councillor Andrew Young said: Police and council officers are currently dec

AN alcohol-free zone is being considered for Baldock.

The idea was discussed at the area committee meeting, but a final decision is on hold as councillors await a report.

Arbury councillor Andrew Young said: "Police and council officers are currently deciding what would be needed legally and where the zone would be situated if the proposal did go ahead."

"In principle I am in full support of anything that may stop bad behaviour in Baldock caused by alcohol.


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"I need to be convinced however that an alcohol-free zone is effective in this respect and clearly the boundaries for the zone must make sure that the whole town is covered otherwise it may prove a pointless exercise.

"Likewise it must also be fully and actively policed."

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Baldock councillor Ian Knighton said: "We always said, as a council, we would see what happens in Royston and if it was a success there, which it has been, then Baldock would be next in line.

"I want to reiterate what senior police officer Geoff Camp said at the committee meeting. It doesn't mean that nobody can drink alcohol in those areas. We specify the area and police can stop people drinking if they see fit.

"I suppose it would be around the town centre - High Street, Hitchin Street, the park.

"They can stop people already, all this does is give police the ability to stop them drinking and confiscate the alcohol.

"It does give an added power, which will help cut down on anti-social behaviour."

Clothall Common councillor Marilyn Kirkland said: "I think that the zone is a good idea. It does not stop people drinking. It restricts and not bans. People who want to drink can do so in a pub.

"The zone will ensure that those who have had a lot to drink and are drinking from a can or a bottle in the street can be asked to stop by the police."

Other towns have successfully put into place the alcohol-free zone where, in the designated public place, anyone drinking or intending to drink alcohol can be asked by the police to hand over their booze.

If they refuse this is classed as an offence and they will be issued a fine or even arrested.

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