Page last updated at 09:18 GMT, Thursday, 1 October 2009 10:18 UK

City-wide drinking ban considered

The council insists it does not want to stop people enjoying themselves

Nottingham could become the first city in England and Wales to have a total ban on street drinking.

The council is looking at by-laws to make it illegal to drink alcohol on every city street, park and open space.

There are already three zones in the city with bans in place but officials said a wider restriction would be more effective at curbing problem behaviour.

But they emphasised the powers would be discretionary and "reasonable" consumption would be allowed.

The Local Government and Public Involvement in Health Act 2007, which comes into force next year, allows councils to introduce drinking bans without having to get approval from the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government.

Aggressive beggars

The current zones use Designated Public Place Orders (DPPOs) where drinkers face fines of up to £500 if they refuse to stop when asked to do do.

Richard Antcliffe, who deals with anti-social behaviour for the council, denied it was a heavy-handed approach.

"If we get a city-wide ban on alcohol in our open spaces we will have that discretion to challenge those who are causing or likely to cause anti-social behaviour," he said.

"What we are not going to do is start banning families from drinking alcohol while they are in the park having picnics and this will promote and encourage a safe and enjoyable environment."

He added: "We have the three DPPO areas, yes we can confiscate alcohol from these areas, but there is an element of displacement.

"We want everyone to be clear - they can drink responsibly and enjoy themselves in our parks and open spaces but we don't want our streets blighted with street drinkers, aggressive beggars or loutish behaviour."

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