Page last updated at 11:41 GMT, Thursday, 11 September 2008 12:41 UK

Alcoholic drinking den proposed

Drunk man lying in street (generic)
Alcohol is banned in town centre streets, parks and other public places

A drinking den could be set up in Perth to keep alcoholics off the streets during the day.

It is against the law to drink alcohol in the streets, parks and other public places in the town but some people with severe drink problems break the rules.

Councillors are concerned they give a bad impression of the area to visitors and can be frightening to local people.

They are revisiting the idea of setting up a "wet house" where alcoholics could drink in a safe place.

Similar plans have been proposed at various times over the last 10 years but have never got off the ground.

Councillor Willie Robertson, convener of the community safety committee, said public drinking was happening in fairly obvious places.

"It can be frightening for people on their own - ladies on their own walking past and finding people who are intoxicated and perhaps harassing them for money," he said.

"So it's a social problem that has to be dealt with."

If there's somewhere they can go and be safe and be monitored I think that would be a much better way of doing it
Cllr Willie Robertson

He added that the drinkers themselves also needed to be protected.

"Someone who is severely under the influence of alcohol is both a risk to themselves and a risk to others," he said.

"They do get harassed by the police because people don't want them hanging about outside their shops, or outside their homes, or in the parks, so the police are constantly trying to move them on.

"If too much drink is taken and they fall unconscious, they're liable to be robbed or assaulted.

"If there's somewhere they can go and be safe and be monitored I think that would be a much better way of doing it."

Mr Robertson added that if the plans were to progress they would work to find a place for a drinking den which the public did not object to.


SEE ALSO
Minister hears booze ban success
08 Sep 08 |  Scotland
Boy, 13, suffers drink poisoning
04 Aug 08 |  Tayside and Central
Outdoor alcohol ban takes effect
28 Jul 08 |  Tayside and Central
Public drink ban to be extended
20 Feb 08 |  Tayside and Central

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