Single beer can ban to end street drinking

Making in-roads: Sgt Steve Butler targets street drinkers.
Making in-roads: Sgt Steve Butler targets street drinkers.
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TOWN centre off licence owners have signed up for a ban on sales of single cans of beer in a bid to end street drinking.

But the move has raised concerns that the plan may simply shift the problem further out from the town centre.

The scheme was launched yesterday and will see the 10 off licences in the centre of town signing up for what has been called the ‘one can ban’.

In a move designed to stop people buying one can and drinking anti-socially in the street, shoppers won’t be able to buy single cans of alcohol.

The area is also covered by a Designated Public Place Order, which means anyone drinking anti-socially can be fined or moved on.

Police and Doncaster council officials say concerns have been raised by local businesses about anti-social behaviour and street drinking - something often caused by people buying single cans from off licences and drinking them in the street with other people.

Coun Cynthia Ransome said: “Street drinkers are a big concern for local businesses and they often behave inappropriately and are rude to staff and members of the public.

“With this ban we’re tackling the issues that matter to them.”

Sgt Steve Butler said: “We are hoping to get as many shops as possible on board with this scheme and target street drinkers who only have the money to buy one can at a time.

“These drinkers tend to be the ones who cause a nuisance for businesses and shoppers in the town centre. This scheme will hopefully put a stop to this kind of behaviour and ensure the town centre provides a safe and enjoyable experience for everybody.”

He said police had already made inroads into the problem of street drinking with legal orders. The new action would stop people who beg enough money for a can, then go and buy it to drink on the street.

Jagdeep Nijjar, manager of Danum News on High Street, is among those who have signed up for the scheme.

But he said there was concern that if people were refused a single can in the town centre, they would go somewhere further out from the centre and buy a drink there.

He said: “We want to discuss extending it to other parts of the town. Otherwise they may just move from here to another part of town.”

There was some public support for the plan.

Karl Worthington, aged 67, from Thorne, said he thought everyone was worried about street drinking and the yobbish behaviour it can cause.

But he added: “It may have a slight effect, but I don’t think it will eliminate the problem.”

Patricia Williams, 84, from Bessacarr, said she will not come into the town centre after 6pm because of drinkers.

She said: “I think it is a good idea but I don’t think it will make much difference.”

Andrew Glynn, 41, from York Road, said he saw people near the market begging for money to spend on drink. “I think it will make a difference,” he said.

Marc Delahunty, 42, from Edlington, said street drinkers in the town centre could be abusive, and he would be pleased to see something to discourage it.

He added: “Now the kids are off school, it is not what you want to see in the town centre.”