Boozing on street will spell pounds 500 fine; WALES' FIRST COUNTY-WIDE CRACKDOWN ON ALCOHOL.
WREXHAM yesterday became the first booze control zone county in Wales, with those who flout them facing fines of up to pounds 500.
Council bosses want to clean up the streets and clamp down on anti-social behaviour by giving police powers to take away alcohol from outdoor revellers.
The move follows the success of a similar initiative in Wrexham town centre over the last four years, which officers said had helped keep order.
Now police will be able to ask anyone boozing outside who is causing a problem, or who they think is likely to cause a problem, to stop drinking.
If they don't, officers can confiscate their alcohol.
And if the problems persist offenders can be prosecuted with fines of up to pounds 500.
Council chiefs were keen to stress this is not an outright ban on alcohol outdoors.
Rather it is another tool in the armoury to crack down on bad behaviour.
Yesterday Wrexham council leader Aled Roberts, said: "We are confident that the introduction of Alcohol Control Zones will contribute significantly towards further reducing anti social behaviour and violent crime across the County Borough.
"We have consulted widely on this issue but are very eager to point out that making an area an Alcohol Control Zone Order does not mean a blanket ban on drinking in public places..
"The consumption of alcohol in an area for picnics, concerts, fetes and festivals can still go ahead but the enforcement powers may be directed at individuals whose consumption of alcohol in these areas gives rise to anti-social behaviour.
"We view the introduction of the Alcohol Control Zones as a significant part of our work to reduce Anti-Social Behaviour across the County Borough.
"And we are confident that this development will help make Wrexham a place where people can enjoy themselves and feel safe," Mr Roberts said.
The new crackdown has been brought under Section 13 (2) of the Criminal Justice and Police Act 2001.
Council chiefs have been planning the move for some time and launched a consultation exercise in 2007.
It has received widespread support from community council, the public and headteachers.
The move was also backed by police chiefs.
Previously designated booze control zones in Wrexham town centre included Llwyn Isaf and Bellevue Park.
Yesterday a Wrexham council spokeswoman added: "Any person who without reasonable excuse to comply with an officer's request commits an offence, and may be issued with a fixed penalty notice or may be prosecuted for which the maximum penalty upon conviction is a fine not exceeding pounds 500.
"These powers will be exercised across the county borough in each community council area." email@example.com
Wrexham council leader Aled Roberts
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|Publication:||Daily Post (Liverpool, England)|
|Date:||Apr 2, 2009|
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