Shefford and Arlesey move step closer to having extensive alcohol-free zones

TWO towns in Comet country have moved a step closer to having extensive alcohol-free zones. The councils of Shefford and Arlesey first applied to the old Mid Beds Council in 2008 for the zones where people of any age would be banned from consuming booze o

TWO towns in Comet country have moved a step closer to having extensive alcohol-free zones.

The councils of Shefford and Arlesey first applied to the old Mid Beds Council in 2008 for the zones where people of any age would be banned from consuming booze on the streets.

Now Central Beds Council, which inherited the Mid Beds area a year ago when new unitary councils came into force in the county, has given the green light to the last stages of legal orders for alcohol-free areas for Shefford and Arlesey.

It is hoped they will become law inside the next two months in time for the summer surge in anti-social behaviour caused by alcohol in both towns.


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Shefford mayor Paul Mackin says the order will not only help halt further outbursts of trouble on the town's streets but prevent what he sees as the possibility of the problems simmering so much that fed up residents could take the law into their own hands to sort out trouble-makers.

"The last thing this town needs is somebody to be killed or seriously injured by people taking the law into their own hands against those who are making their lives hell because of alcohol," said Mr Mackin.

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"This order will give the police another set of tools to resolve our problems concerning alcohol. For too long alcohol has been the cause of nearly all of the anti-social problems in our town."

Arlesey mayor Hugh Harper said the alcohol ban would help in cleaning up the town.

"We need this because there are areas of the town where alcohol is behind the problems that arise," said Mr Harper.

"The station is one of the problem areas and we have at least been supported by British Transport Police in getting this order."

If the orders are granted in a designated area a police officer or police community support officer has the power to stop anyone drinking alcohol. They can stop the person drinking, confiscate the alcohol and dispose of it.

Unopened containers cannot be seized unless a person is under the legal age to purchase alcohol.

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