In response to the article where Cllr Roger Nash calls for a blanket ban of alcohol consumption in public areas in and around the Bognor Regis area. The health and well-being of residents is paramount to both Arun District Council and Sussex Police, and together we are working to tackle problems of alcohol-induced public offence and anti-social behaviour.
It is not an offence to drink alcohol in an area which has a Designated Public Place Order (DPPO), but it is an arrestable offence to fail to comply with an officer’s requirements on public drinking or refusing to surrender alcohol without reasonable excuse.
There is no provision under law or statute that would allow outside drinking to become unlawful.
We have a number of measures that we can take to protect the public and reduce alcohol-induced crimes. These include powers for the police to confiscate alcohol from persons below the age of 18.
Local authorities and police also have the power to target individual repeat offenders with tools such as Drink Banning Orders (DBOs). The DBO is designed to protect members of the public from an individual’s criminal or disorderly conduct whilst they are under the influence of alcohol.
The order can be used to prevent persons entering specified licensed premises and a court may attach other conditions as may be necessary to protect persons from an individual’s conduct whilst under the influence of alcohol.
This could mean an individual is banned from certain streets or areas, during specified dates and times. Clear evidence of an individual’s behaviour needs to
be obtained prior to application for an order.
It is not considered appropriate to use a DBO for individuals that are vulnerable and suffering from drug or alcohol dependency or suffering mental health problems. DBOs therefore relate to an individual and specific circumstances and can not be used to designate a specific area.
A Designated Public Place Order (DPPO) gives a constable the right to dispose of alcohol or require a person not to consume alcohol in that area.
There are regular seizures of alcohol in Bognor Regis and information regularly shared between police, the licensing authority and the councils community safety team is used to target and deal with specific problems.
Action has been taken against repeat offenders who have caused distress to members of the public.
Members of the public can report issues to Sussex Police on 101 and we urge them to do so. When reporting a problem about an individual or a group drinking on the street, it is important to include a description of the people as this will be needed to help deal with the problem.
Chief Inspector Jane Derrick
Arun’s District Commander
Councillor Paul Dendle
Cabinet Member for Environmental Services (licensing)