New crackdown on street drinkers in Stratford

By Kevin Unitt Thursday 22 November 2012 Updated: 29/11 08:52

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POLICE in Stratford have launched a crackdown on street boozers – just weeks after we exclusively highlighted growing concerns over parts of the town centre becoming “no-go zones”.

Fraser Pithie, the defeated Conservative Warwickshire Police Commissioner candidate, recently told us urgent urgent action was needed to end the misery suffered by residents and businesses as a result of bad behaviour by drunks. Problem areas highlighted included Rother Street and Wood Street.

Now Warwickshire Police, together with Stratford District Council and other organisations, have launched 'Operation Mitcheldean', promising “robust enforcement action” to reduce street drinking and nuisance behaviour in the town.

Insp Faz Chishty said: “The issue of individuals gathering to drink in Stratford town centre has long been a concern for local residents and businesses.

“Shoppers and residents can feel intimidated by their presence and businesses believe that it deters customers from frequenting shopping areas.

“Operation Mitcheldean is a fresh approach to this issue combining robust enforcement action with a genuine desire to provide support to the individuals concerned.”

The first stage of the operation has seen the force issue warning letters to a number of individuals, explaining the concerns of the community and advising drinking in the street would no longer be tolerated, that alcohol would be seized and continued failure to comply with directions to stop could lead to a fine or criminal record.

Boozers will also be signposted to support agencies, with staff from the alcohol Recovery Partnership on hand to offer advice and encouragement for individuals to take up recovery treatment.

District council community safety chief, Coun Gill Roache, said: “Street drinkers face many challenges and this balanced partnership approach aims to stop the negative impact drinkers have on the residents, businesses and visitors to our town whilst at the same time supporting drinkers to try and turn their lives around.”

The launch of the new operation coincides with National Alcohol Awareness Week.

Visit www.warwickshire.gov.uk/alcohol for further details.

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