Booze ban is not the right solution

PUBLISHED: 11:18 19 January 2006 | UPDATED: 17:11 11 May 2010

THE alcohol ban in Royston is wrong. My understanding of the law is that the current public order acts give the police sweeping, almost unlimited powers, to ensure that the peace is maintained. The law already provides all the powers and remedies require

THE alcohol ban in Royston is wrong. My understanding of the law is that the current public order acts give the police sweeping, almost unlimited powers, to ensure that the peace is maintained. The law already provides all the powers and remedies required for the police to act in the face of under-age drinking, public drunkenness, and the unruly behaviour that follows. With all the existing powers, why have the police been unable to contain the problem in Royston? What makes anyone think that the provision of a ban will make any difference if the police are unable to contain the problem under the present laws? The problem is not in the existence or non-existence of a ban, it is in inadequate upholding of the current laws. Further to this, a ban would criminalise anyone of otherwise good character who cares to walk across the centre of town on a hot day drinking a can of lager. It also criminalises the head of a family who cares to open a can of beer while sitting with his family on a Sunday afternoon in the Priory Memorial Gardens. The banning of alcohol will be unenforceable, will criminalise otherwise respectable people, and will give no more power to the police who already have all the power they need, but somehow have failed to tackle the problem. We do not need an authoritarian ban. Such bans give the impression of action, while in reality they proscribe freedoms. We have enough such proscription under New Labour. We need better upholding of the laws as they currently exist. ROBIN PLUMMER Barkway Rd Royston - HONESTLY, I think that the ban of alcohol in Royston town centre and the Priory Memorial Gardens is totally absurd. The ban is intended to curb anti-social behaviour and stop under-age drinking. What do the police and residents of Royston really believe that the "yobs", as they have been described, are not going to find somewhere else to drink. It seems ridiculous at present the police know that the teenagers go out at the weekend and will most definitely meet in the Priory Memorial Gardens, there the police can keep an eye on them. This ban will only resort in the teenagers splitting into smaller groups and hanging out in residential areas, drinking and causing disturbances surely the situation will become far worse. Maybe the council will have a really bright idea and work with the teenagers to find somewhere where they can go and "hang out" at the weekend. Name and address supplied - THE proposed booze ban in Royston town centre and the Priory Memorial Gardens seems to be an unnecessary erosion of our liberties - and an expensive bureaucratic exercise. My understanding is that the police already have the power to take action against under-age drinking and disorderly behaviour. Why should we believe that the police will be any more effective in enforcing a "booze ban" than the current law. I think our representatives would be better occupied encouraging the police towards more vigorous use of the powers they already have. Drinking in public spaces is not the problem, disorderly conduct is, so focus on the problem. RICHARD H STABLES Briary Lane Royston - WHAT a fantastic idea, banning street drinking. I think people will be a lot safer in Royston if it's not full of groups of children high on alchohol. I am 39 years old and have been intimidated by drunk children in Royston before now, and a friend was assaulted in the Priory Memorial Gardens not long ago by a group of intoxicated girls. Name and address supplied

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