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Lib Dems welcome new powers to deal with disorder

April 3, 2006 11:28 AM

Liberal Democrat City Councillors have today welcomed the proposed measures in the Violent Crime Reduction Bill being considered in the House of Lords this week.

The Bill introduces new powers for local authorities to deal with antisocial behaviour and problem drinking in their neighbourhoods including Alcohol Disorder Zones and Drink Banning Orders

Local authorities would have powers to designate problem areas as Alcohol Disorder Zones so that clubs and bars will have to contribute to the costs of dealing with problem behaviour.

With Drink Banning Orders the City Council and the Police could apply to the magistrates for an order banning and individual from drinking in designated public places, such as certain streets or the whole city centre, if their drink-related behaviour warranted it.

Leader of Cambridge City Council, Cllr Ian Nimmo-Smith, commented:

"We welcome the proposals in the Violent Crime Reduction Bill to give local authorities more powers to deal with the problems of public disorder and problem drinking in a targeted and effective way.

"In bringing forward these new measures the govt is recognising the shortcomings and failures of its previous attempts to deal with these problems using Designated Public Places Orders.

"The part of the license trade that bear the responsibility for some of the problem must play a bigger part in dealing with the

consequences and alcohol disorder zones would give us a lever to bring this about.

"Moreover, when dealing with alcohol related antisocial behaviour, action must be targeted so that we do not treat the innocent as criminals. Targeted action is also more effective, there is no point in simply moving this behaviour around the city. For this reason the Drink Banning Order powers are to be welcomed. We will continue to work with the police and with other

agencies to deal with antisocial behaviour and public disorder and look forward to these new powers becoming law."