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Armley: Street drinkers could face six months in prison under new powers

A ‘landmark’ new by-law banning street drinking in Armley town centre has been given the go-ahead this month.

Secured by Leeds City Council and West Yorkshire Police at Leeds Magistrates Court earlier this week, the ‘Partial Closure Order’ forms part of a wide range of work being undertaken in the Armley community to tackle different anti-social behaviour issues.

As part of the terms of the order, which is thought to be one of the first to be granted in the UK, no person will be allowed to be in possession of an open container of alcohol in specific areas of Armley unless they are on licensed premises or residential premises.

The terms of the order will be in place for an initial period up to October 19, 2021.

This legislation provides additional support to a Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) already in place to address street drinking issues in Armley and also offers greater powers to take action against those involved.

Any person found to be ignoring the terms of the order and repeated warnings could face prosecution. This includes a fine or imprisonment for up to six months.

The new powers form part of a long-term strategy put in place by the council, police and partner agencies to tackle anti-social behaviour issues in Armley.

This includes increased patrols by neighbourhood policing team officers, increased licensing activity and regular operations to address specific anti-social behaviour concerns.

Councillor Debra Coupar, Leeds City Council’s executive member with responsibility for Safer Leeds, said:

“We simply will not tolerate anti-social behaviour in our communities, and residents can be assured that in conjunction with our partners, we will use every possible tool that is available to us to put a stop to it.

“I welcome the additional new powers which we have secured through the courts to tackle the issue of street drinking in Armley town centre and surrounding areas, which is a blight on the community and contributing to a range of anti-social behaviour issues. Through the order, we will be able to take tougher action against those repeat offenders.”

Inspector Phil Gill, who heads the Leeds West Neighbourhood Policing Team, said:

“The granting of this order is a real landmark, and will give vital additional support to our ongoing work to tackle the issues around street drinking and anti-social behaviour in the area.

“We are very much aware of the completely unacceptable negative impact that this kind of behaviour has on the community, and we have been working closely alongside our partner agencies to address any increased problems when they have occurred.

“We are committed to doing everything we can to improve the situation, which this innovative use of existing legislation should illustrate.

“The order will give extra support to the wider work that we will be continuing with, and we hope people in the area will see some significant improvements.

“We will continue to monitor the situation going forward and will take firm action over any breaches of the order, and also work to ensure the issues are not just displaced elsewhere.”

Areas covered by the order include Town Street, Theaker Lane, Modder Avenue, Branch Road and Armley Moor.


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