Police given new powers to combat Redbridge street drinkers

Street drinkers who plague residents will have their alcohol seized if they are causing trouble, thanks to new powers handed to police.

It is hoped the new designated public place orders will help stamp out antisocial behaviour in a number of areas across the borough.

The whole of Loxford, Mayfield, Valentines and Clementswood wards will be covered by the order.

Goodmayes Park and roads in Newbury and Seven Kings wards will also be part of the street drinking crackdown.

Previously, street drinking has been banned in Cranbrook Road up to Valentines Park and in Ilford Town Centre up to Seven Kings Station.

Police will be equipped with powers to arrest or issue fines to anyone caught drinking or refusing to give up their drink in these new zones.

The announcement was made at a meeting of the council’s cabinet held last night in Redbridge Town Hall, High Road, Ilford.

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Cllr Shoaib Patel, cabinet member for community safety, said the new powers would not be used on people enjoying a “family picnic” or drinking “outside a pub”.

He added: “People who congregate and drink in public can often cause a nuisance.

“Members of the public should be able to go where they want in the borough without feeling intimidated.

“Hopefully the extension of the alcohol exclusion zones will make Redbridge more welcoming and stop people drinking in the streets and causing an annoyance.”

He said communication last year with residents in roads including York Road and Mansfield Road, Ilford had shown there was a problem with street drinking.

CCTV footage, police statements and data from police was also collated before the zones were selected and a consultation was carried out with people including the borough commander.

Licensed premises within the new zones were also written to and asked for their views on the plans.