Burnham and Highbridge to become booze-free zones?

PUBLISHED: 12:02 09 December 2010

The proposals will not affect major outdoor events

The proposals will not affect major outdoor events

Copyright Archant Ltd

PUBLIC spaces in Burnham and Highbridge could become booze-free zones after councillors approved a police proposal.

If passed by Sedgemoor District Council, the new rules would expand current no-drinking zones to cover both towns completely.

Sgt Ian Kennett of Avon and Somerset Police told Burnham town councillors at their meeting on Monday night (Dec 6) that he would like the extend the zone as current areas were hard to police efficiently.

He also said the proposed law changes would not have any bearing on public events held outdoors, such as events held in the Manor Gardens in Burnham.

There are currently designated no-alcohol zones in Manor Gardens, Southwell Gardens, Apex Park, Winchester Road playing fields, The Esplanade, Jubilee Gardens, Rosewood Park playing fields, Bank Street, Market Street and Burnham beach.

In designated areas police have the power to ask people to hand over alcohol, and then arrest them and give them a £500 fine if they refuse.

Sgt Kennett said: “Market Street and Bank Street currently are designated areas but between isn’t designated.

“People who go on the little side streets off the main streets which are covered by the drinking orders can go down these to drink.

“The current patchy coverage makes it difficult for us to enforce because people can move to an area not covered by the alcohol order, which is why we’d like the whole of Burnham and Highbridge covered.

“This procedure would need to be considered by Sedgemoor District Council and if granted would give police officers powers to tackle street drinking in the towns.

“It would not make drinking on the street illegal unless a person failed to comply with a police officer’s request.”

Under Section 13 of the Youth and Criminal Justice Act 2001,

After councillors unanimously supported the proposal, Sgt Kennett will now take the proposal to Sedgemoor District Council for their approval.

He said: “I’ve been talking to Sedgemoor and I’m sure that an application will be considered by them.

“The whole process will take a couple of months I would think.”

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