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Julian Huppert MP
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Street Drinkers: Council Leader calls on MP for help getting City-wide powers

November 7, 2003 12:00 AM

The Lib Dem leader of the city council will call on Anne Campbell MP to support a city-wide bid for additional police powers to tackle the growing problem of anti social behaviour from street drinkers.

Cllr Ian Nimmo Smith will hand over a letter to Ms Campbell on Monday, the day she is due to hand over a Labour-party-sponsored petition. Labour's favoured solution is the DPPO -(Designated Public Places Order). The Lib Dem view is that these orders cannot be imposed across the whole city. Instead the Council will be asked to make a bye-law giving police powers to stop people drinking in an anti-social manner.

Shunters' Charter

According to Cllr Ian Nimmo-Smith, "These DPPO orders are a "Shunters' Charter" - moving the problem from one district to another. I don't think the citizens of, say, Coleridge or Trumpington wards will be happy to see people with drink problems moved into their area from Petersfield and Romsey wards.

What we need is a whole city approach. And I am calling on Anne Campbell to drop the party politics and support our three-point plan:

1. To support the passing of a new bye-law which will give police powers to act against nuisance drinkers ANYWHERE in the city.

2. To support the Lib Dem plan to develop "wet centres" - specialist places off the street where vulnerable people with drink or drug problems can be referred for help and shelter.

3. To strengthen community policing such as the initiative to support PC Mark Rabel, the City Council funded 'street life officer' for Mill Road (CEN 5/11/03).

The Labour Party's petition calling for a quick fix solution just won't work and does nothing to address the root problems of the nuisance drinkers.

I will be handing her a letter on Monday calling for her full support for an effective city wide approach to a very real problem"

NOTES

1. There is strong legal advice, including from leading Counsel, that it would be unlawful to impose a DPPO across a whole city.

2. Details of the new bye-law proposal will be released on Monday 10th November. The bye-law will require approval from the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister. Mrs Campbell's support is specifically sought in obtaining this from Labour ministers.