Meeting about drinking held

HOPES for a Bognor Regis-wide scheme to tackle problem drinking were raised at a meeting this week.

Town mayor Cllr Paul Wells attended the session with Inspector Marc Clothier, of the town’s police station, and four licensed retailers.

Cllr Wells said he hoped it was the start of the formation of a business crime reduction partnership similar to those that existed in retail centres like Chichester and Brighton.

The aim would be to act like a Pubwatch scheme to enable retailers licensed to sell alcohol to become aware of individuals who were causing problems as they sought to buy booze.

“It’s important to bring the licensed retailers together to see how we can work to improve the appeal of the town centre,” he said.

“There is a problem with street drinking and, one of the benefits of the meeting, was it showed a commitment from those retailers who turned up.”

A problem they raised was their inability to know if a customer seeking alcohol had been turned away elsewhere.

“It would be good to set up a system for the shopkeepers to be able to know it,” said Cllr Wells.

He has called for action to stop street drinkers damaging Bognor’s image.