Further talks on alcohol order

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News: Sheffield Telegraph online 24-hours a day.

POLICE powers to control street drinking in Sheffield city centre will be kept in place for the next five years - but councillors have asked for a second consultation to be carried out on extending the scheme.

Declaring the city centre an Alcohol Restricted Zone seven years ago is judged to have helped to reduce violence and anti-social behaviour, as well as improving the quality of life for businesses, shoppers and residents.

At a meeting of Sheffield Council’s licensing committee, councillors were asked to consider widening the order to cover Broomhall and the Bramall Lane area.

Members decided to maintain the ‘very effective’ restriction - now known as a Designated Public Place Order - and hold another review in five years’ time.

But the committee decided ‘meaningful consultation’ was needed with local residents before any changes are made.

The order gives police the power to ask people to stop drinking if they are causing a nuisance. Any person who refuses commits a criminal offence and can be arrested.

The zone covers public places such as streets, parks and car parks - but police say it does not apply to customers drinking ‘sensibly’ outside a pub.

Coun John Robson, licensing committee chairman, said: “The zone has achieved good results in terms of a fall in crime and anti-social behaviour.

“Councillors approved full public consultation about extending the order to London Road and an area of Sharrow.

“Initial public consultation was supportive around London Road, although there was concern in Sharrow that residents did not want the area stigmatised by signs which must go up to warn people about the restrictions.

“After the consultation, the committee will consider the public’s response.”

Ahead of the meeting, community groups and residents around Broomhall and Bramall Lane told the council they did not feel the case had been made for alcohol controls.

They felt that street signs advertising the zone would label their neighbourhood as having ‘negative issues with alcohol’.

Richard Eyre, head of city centre management and major events, said it was ‘critical’ that the city centre restriction zone continued to prevent crime and disorder.