FOR YEARS we have had problems with day-time drinkers hanging out in Ashley Road, Upper Parkstone. But then a problem in most towns throughout the country.

The solution, community policing, that then reassuring shoppers with the presence of a uniformed officer.

However, with Tory austerity policies decimating public services, from 2010 onwards, we lost all our uniformed community officers in Ashley Road.

And so what we have ended up with is ward councillors thinking the way to deal with the problem is to remove more and more street benches.

But then the problem is not the benches. The benches have not wronged anyone. It is day-time drinkers, along with a lack of adequate policing, that is the problem.

The fact is every time a bench is taking away that simply moves the problem on to another bench. And so it is, benches taken away near the banks, and we end with day time drinkers hanging out around the church, and the children’s play-school.

Follow the logic all the way through, no benches left, and drinkers will hang out in the bus stops. But then as they do already.

Or, do we take the bus shelters away as well?

There is only one solution to the issue. Outlaw day time street drinking in Ashley Road, on penalty of arrest. That then solves the problem.

And from there on offenders might be encouraged to get to work varnishing the benches, in need of a good varnish for years. Good for the benches, and good for those doing the work. Hello self-respect.

But it wont happen. Years teach us effective policies are far beyond the reach of our local authorities. And so it we sink further and further into a do what you want culture.


Alder Road, Poole