I am writing in direct response to the recent letter which appears in your paper and on your website entitled ‘Ban on alcohol is a step too far’ from Neil Davies.
There are some factual inaccuracies within Mr Davies’ account of the situation and given that we are currently in the consultation phase seeking views on the proposed Order, it is important to explain what the powers would mean should the Order be approved.
Horsham District Council, supported by Sussex Police, is seeking the views of licensed premises, statutory bodies and residents of the Horsham District with regard to obtaining a Designated Public Place Order within Horsham town centre, making use of the powers under Local Authorities (Alcohol Consumption in Designated Public Places) Regulation 2007.
This legislation provides local authorities with an adoptive power to restrict anti-social drinking in designated public places and provides the police with power to enforce the restriction.
A Designated Public Place Order (DPPO) allows a constable, Police Community Support Officer (PCSO) or other accredited persons to require a person, in a designated place, not to drink alcohol in that place if the officer reasonably believes that a person has consumed alcohol or intends to do so, and to surrender the alcohol and any opened or sealed containers in the person’s possession.
Any person who fails without reasonable excuse to comply with a constable’s request under this provision may commit an offence and be liable to prosecution.
The DPPO is not a ban on drinking alcohol in public nor is it intended to stop an individual drinking sensibly.
It is an effective way of combating irresponsible drinking and police officers and PCSOs will use their discretion and the drinker’s behaviour will be taken into consideration before any action is taken.
The following premises will be excluded from the designated public place under the proposed order and the order will therefore not apply to them:
Premises in respect of which a premises licence has effect which authorises the premises to be used for the sale or supply of alcohol.
Premises in respect of which a club premises certificate has effect which certifies that the premises may be used for the sale or supply of alcohol.
A place within the curtilage of any premises with a premises licence or club premises certificate.
Premises that are subject to a valid Temporary Event Notice. (NB the proposed order will not apply only at times when alcohol is being served under the notice and for 30 minutes thereafter).
Places where the sale or consumption of alcohol is permitted on a public highway under Section 115E of the Highways Act 1980.
If residents wish to make representations about the proposed order, they should send them in writing to the Community Safety Unit, Horsham District Council, North Street, Horsham, RH12 1RL by Friday 8 November 2013.
SUE ROGERS JP
(Con, Steyning) cabinet member for a safer and healthier district, Horsham District Council, and chair of the Horsham District Community Safety Partnership