DAY time street drinkers are a blight on all our lives, doing huge damage to high street businesses.

Anyone who went to Ashley Road meetings over a year ago knows businesses are outraged.

I wholly agree with the views in the Echo (Letters, Oct 7), removing high street benches is no way to deal with this issue.

Removing benches is a response to the problem, not a solution.

Taking benches away every time moves the problem to other benches, and the bus shelters.

What is missing, as clear as daylight, is community policing.

Over ten years there has been a massive run down of community patrol policing to the point where it is now non-existent.

The solution we need, and need to demand, is public space protection orders. With enforcement.

This give police power to stop groups drinking in public spaces and issue fines.

Lincoln was the first city in UK to bring in a city-wide ban on the consumption of alcohol and drugs in public back in 2015.

And since then hundreds of such orders have been put in place from Oxford to Sheffield to Southampton.

Large signs go up, public space protection order, as led and organised by councils and businesses, with the backing of police.

But then, at the same time, look at what the Met Police recommend nationwide, in respect of public drinking – “What you can Do: If you know the people involved, or they seem approachable, our first advice would be to talk to them peacefully.”

It’s a joke isn’t it? As if any of us out shopping are going to go up and speak to half a dozen day-time drinkers, or using drugs, who knows, and ask them to desist.

But then with no action from BCP Council, or Dorset Police, in two years, this is clearly what a ‘do it yourself’ policy amounts to.

A massive failure to deal with the problem.

I hope every business in Ashley Road will make the effort to speak to councillors, and the Dorset police commissioner, and demand we have an end to street drinking.

Businesses are fighting for survival.

The added damage from drinkers, along with shop lifting, pester begging, using walk-ways as toilets, is only driving more and more shoppers away.

It is our high street – businesses and shoppers. Not the day-time drinkers’ high street.

Keep the benches – take on the problem – day drinking and the supply of alcohol.


Ashley Road, Poole