Troublemakers could have alcohol seized

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Police could be given new powers to seize alcohol from troublemakers found drinking on any Rotherham street.

The Safer Rotherham Partnership has asked Rotherham Council to consider the need for a ‘Designated Public Places Order’ to cover the whole of the borough.

It would give police officers the right to seize alcohol from anyone found drinking and causing problems on any Rotherham street in a bid to reduce anti-social behaviour.

The orders do not make it an offence to consume alcohol, but officers can seize it from troublemakers and anyone who refuses to stop drinking faces arrest.

There are currently orders in place covering Rotherham town centre and Wath upon Dearne, but the council has been asked to consider the need for a blanket order covering the entire borough.

The Home Office says DPPOs can only be justified by past problems of alcohol-related crime or anti-social behaviour, and Rotherham Council’s neighbourhood crime and justice manager Steve Parry claims a borough-wide order would be “disproportionate” and suggests one should not be adopted.

He said: “There is no doubt that alcohol is a contributory factor in anti-social behaviour, criminal damage, nuisance and public place violent crime.

It also increases the fear of crime and further deterioration of public areas and acts as a catalyst for an increase in the incidents of alcohol and drug abuse and more serious crimes.

“It is difficult to prove that it is the actual drinking of alcohol in public places that is the main cause of anti social behaviour compared to home and licensed premises.”

A final decision has yet to be made.

n Star Opinion: P8