‘Hard core’ daytime drinkers in Hatfield must be tackled, say police

PUBLISHED: 06:00 11 October 2013

Market Place, Hatfield

Market Place, Hatfield

Archant

Tougher measures are needed to handle anti-social daytime drinkers in Hatfield, police have said.

Since August 1, 27 dispersal notices have been served to people drinking in the town centre, banning them for 48 hours.

But these measures are not getting to the root of the problem, PC William Rogers-Overy told Hatfield town councillors.

He told politicians: “We know it is a core group of about 15 people who are responsible for the drinking within the market place.”

The section 27 dispersal orders are supposed to act as a deterrent, but are not enforced with a fine, they were told.

However, if an individual breaks the 48-hour curfew, they could find themselves arrested and before a court.

The neighbourhood team for the area has now started talks with Welwyn Hatfield Council about how to deal with the long term problem.

“We can issue the dispersal order if we think there is a real chance of alcohol related disorder and violence,” said PC Rogers-Overy.

“But after that the cycle begins again.”

A spokeswoman from Welwyn Hatfield Council said: “We realise that the existing powers mainly 
help to reduce the immediate nuisance, but can’t do much to prevent it recurring.

“Through the Community Safety Partnership, we are working with the police to focus heavier measures on the hard core of persistent offenders, and hope to involve specialists such as voluntary sector alcohol recovery services, in doing more to help problem drinkers to reduce their dependence.”

Safer Neighbourhood Team Inspector Ian Grout said: “Over the past few months we have been increasing our enforcement in the town centre, which includes issuing section 27 notices to those found drinking alcohol.

“This is a direction to leave notice which requires the person to leave the area for 48 hours, and if they return during this time they will be arrested.

“This is a short term solution, and we are exploring other ways with Welwyn Hatfield Council, to deal with the issue longer term.”


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