As the summer approaches, street drinkers are being warned that their booze could be confiscated if they are found to be causing a nuisance.
In 2013, Hounslow Council asked residents whether they wanted the borough to be designated as a controlled drinking zone (CDZ). A CDZ is designed to tackle anti-social behaviour arising from public drinking, particularly when it is causing a nuisance or annoyance to others.
When the council asked residents for their views on the CDZ, an overwhelming 91 per cent of respondents supported this action, with 90 per cent also saying they had witnessed alcohol-related anti-social behaviour which ranged from intimidating behaviour, littering, noise and public urination.
A CDZ allows police officers and police community support officers (PCSOs) to ask people to stop drinking and hand over their alcohol. Refusal can lead to a fine of up to £500 or, in extreme cases, face arrest.
Hounslow’s CDZ covers the whole borough and includes all public spaces, town centres and parks.
Councillor Sue Sampson, Hounslow’s Cabinet Member for Community Protection, Hounslow Council, said: “The CDZ isn’t an outright ban on drinking in public but it is effective in making sure that those who do drink, do so responsibility and don’t cause distress to others.
“More and more residents are telling us that they are concerned about the number of people drinking on the streets and in parks. This summer we’re taking a tougher approach to ensure that people don’t feel harassed or intimidated by unacceptable alcohol-induced behaviour.
“Our message is simple; if you do drink in public, do so responsibly or face the consequences.”
Council-funded police officers will be patrolling known public drinking hotspots in the borough to deter unacceptable street drinking.
Sergeant Neil Witcombe, from London Borough of Hounslow police team, said: “Summer is a wonderful time for people to come together and spend time outdoors.
“Often this involves people having a drink. All we ask is that people stay safe and have fun. If you’re approached by police officers or PCSOs about your drinking it is because we feel this might not be the case.
“We hope people understand that we are not doing it to ruin your day but need to ensure that everyone stays safe and enjoys themselves.”
For more information on the CDZ visit www.hounslow.gov.uk/CDZ
If you want help for drug or alcohol misuse visit www.ihearpartnership.org or call 020 8538 1150.