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Thursday, 16 July 2009

Controlled Drinking Zone for Lambeth?

Lambeth council is consulting on the introduction of a Controlled Drinking Zone (CDZ) for all public spaces in the borough and are seeking your views.

Councils can introduce CDZs as a way of dealing with alcohol-related anti-social behaviour. The introduction of CDZs allows police to confiscate alcohol in public areas within the designated zones. CDZs are not a ban on public drinking, but are intended to give police additional powers to respond to alcohol-related anti-social behaviour.

The consultation process will inform the council’s decision as to whether such powers should be applied to all public spaces or whether any smaller areas should be designated.

Below are some frequently asked questions about CDZ’s. Details of how you can take part in the consultation are near the end of the text. Please comment by 31st of July 2009.

Proposed borough-wide Controlled Drinking Zone for Lambeth

All the below information is also available at: www.lambeth.gov.uk/cdzconsultation
Information and consultation details

1. What is a controlled drinking zone (CDZ)?
A CDZ is a designated public area in which police have powers to confiscate alcohol or require a person to stop drinking. A CDZ is not a ban and does not make drinking alcohol in public an offence, unless instructed not to by an officer.

2. How do I make a comment?
You can take part in the consultation and give your views in a number of ways:
-By completing the online survey by visiting the council’s website at www.lambeth.gov.uk/cdzconsultation
-By email: you can email your views and comments to CDZ@Lambeth.gov.uk
-Or in writing: pleas send your comments to:
CDZ Consultation
London Borough of Lambeth

3. Why is the council considering introducing a borough-wide CDZ?
Alcohol related crime and disorder has been identified in locations across the borough. The Waterloo area was made a CDZ in 2003 and has been used to help address alcohol related disorder. However evaluations of other CDZs and enforcement measures have shown smaller zones commonly result in moving problems into nearby areas. We are therefore consulting on a borough-wide CDZ due to the impact of alcohol related anti social behaviour and the effects of enforcement on surrounding areas.

4. What is a public place?
For the purposes of the CDZ a “public place” is any place to which the public have access, whether by payment or otherwise with “express or implied permission”. Relevant public spaces could include streets, parks and open spaces. However private land such as a supermarket car park could be considered a public space by implied permission.

5. What powers would the police have?
The police would have the power to require a person within the CDZ not to drink alcohol in that place or to surrender any alcohol or alcohol containers in their possession. The police will be entitled to dispose of surrendered alcohol or alcohol containers in any way they consider appropriate. No paperwork or notices would be required to enforce the powers.

6. Would there be any extra policing to enforce a CDZ?
No, there will be no extra resources for police to enforce the CDZ. However each ward has its own police Safer Neighbourhood Team who patrol regularly and respond to key issues in their ward as identified by local ward panels.

7. Would it mean that drinking alcohol in public would be banned?
No, it would not be an offence to drink alcohol in a designated public place, but failure to comply with an officer’s request could result in arrest and/or a fine. The powers would be used to target anti-social drinking so the powers may not be used where someone is not causing or likely to cause anti-social behaviour.

8. Which law allows the council to introduce a CDZ?
Section 12 of the Criminal Justice and Police Act 2001 provides the police and local authority with the powers to set up ‘Designated Public Places Orders (DPPOs), but local authorities typically use more self-explanatory terms such as ‘Controlled Drinking Zones’ or ‘Alcohol Control Areas’. These all refer to the same powers and there is no legislation that bans drinking in public places.

9. Who are the council required to consult?
In addition to the notice in local press, the council are required to consult with:
• the Chief Police Officer for the area in which the public place is situated
• the Chief Police Officer and local authority of the neighbouring boroughs affected by the designation
• the Parish or Community Council for any area near to the public place which they consider may be affected by the designation
• the licensee of any licensed premises in that place which they consider may be affected by the designation
• the owners or occupiers of any land proposed to be identified.

10. Would licensed premises that have tables outside on the pavement be affected?
No, according to the law ‘a place within the curtilage of any licensed premises’ is not a designated public place covered by a CDZ so they would not be affected.

11. Would there be other measures put in place?
In recent years the council has made improvements to many areas around the borough and also taken other measures to address anti-social behaviour in public places. The council works in partnership with many agencies and will continue to do so by offering treatment and support to those with alcohol-related problems.

12. What will happen to my comments?
Your comments will be used to inform the proposal report about the development of any CDZ to be submitted and agreed by a full council committee meeting.
You have the right to withdraw or change your reponse at any time during the consultation period.

The findings of our review which will include an assessment of levels of alcohol related disorder in different areas of the borough, and wider issues of alcohol-related harm may also be used to inform decisions made by council.

When does the consultation period end?
The deadline for your comments is no later than 5.00pm, 31st of July 2009

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Promoted by David Amos and Joanne Simpson of Prince's Branch Labour Party (Vauxhall Constituency and Lambeth Borough) all at 264A Rosendale Road, SE24 9DL