Powers to crackdown on street drinking could be widened across the city to tackle anti-social behaviour problems.

Norwich City Council wants to update and expand the Alcohol Control Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) introduced for the city centre in 2021 to deal with anti-social behaviour (ASB) related to boozing in public spaces.

The current Alcohol Control PSPO gives police officers the power to warn a person not to continue drinking alcohol in public and to confiscate alcohol if they are behaving in an anti-social way.

The punishable behaviours include littering, noise disturbances, verbal or physical abuse and public urination, with fines in place for those who don't comply.

Now the city council has opened a public survey to establish the anti-social hotspots and widen the PSPO to cover areas including Catton Grove, Mile Cross, Earlham, Bowthorpe, Eaton and Lakenham.

Norwich Evening News: The survey suggests extending the PSPO area to include several more areas in the city, including Bowthorpe and LakenhamThe survey suggests extending the PSPO area to include several more areas in the city, including Bowthorpe and Lakenham (Image: Norwich City Council)

Mike Sands, Labour city councillor for Bowthorpe, welcomed the news, saying: "Public drinking is a concern of residents in Bowthorpe, particularly in the Clover Hill area, where people have been seen urinating in the bushes and causing a nuisance in the street. 

"I've seen them do it.

"The PSPO won't be badly received around here, and I can see the sense in extending it to Bowthorpe as well."

Norwich Evening News: Mike Sands, Labour councillor for BowthorpeMike Sands, Labour councillor for Bowthorpe (Image: Norfolk Labour Party)

Keith Driver, Labour city councillor for Lakenham, agreed. He said: "The PSPO will definitely help tackle the number of people drinking in the streets.

"You see it now and again in Lakenham, but you see it everywhere.

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"I definitely do think this will be a good thing for the area - if only to discourage public alcohol consumption."

Norwich Evening News: Keith Driver is Labour councillor for the Lakenham wardKeith Driver is Labour councillor for the Lakenham ward (Image: Denise Bradley)

The public consultation is open on the city council website until May 21.

Anti-social behaviour in the city

The Alcohol Control PSPO came into force in central Norwich in May 2021 and gave the police and council officers the power to confiscate alcohol from people whose drinking causes problems for others in public spaces.

At the start of April, Norfolk police highlighted that street drinking and alcohol-related crime in Prince of Wales Road was a top priority over the coming months.

That followed businesses along the street regularly reporting people stealing, fighting, threatening venue staff and harassing the public.

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Homelessness charity St Martins has a hub in the area which opened in 2020, which several business bosses blamed for increased illegal behaviour.

Norwich Evening News: Norwich City Council hopes to widen powers to tackle street drinking problemsNorwich City Council hopes to widen powers to tackle street drinking problems (Image: Newsquest)

Dr Jan Sheldon, chief executive of St Martins, acknowledged some of the people the charity supports "have a dependency on alcohol", but added it was "unfair to assume that the people we support are responsible for the problems experienced in Prince of Wales Road".

There have been recent reports of the situation improving in the area though, as police officers focused on the area.