Can you drink in public in London? Croydon Council to issue ban
Croydon Council is expected to introduce a ban on drinking in public in Thornton Heath after long-standing complaints of people getting drunk and causing a nuisance in the street.
But what about the rest of the capital? Here’s what you need to know.
Can you drink in public in London?
There is no general prohibition on drinking in the street; however, certain offences relating to alcohol may be committed in public places.
Councils can use public spaces protection orders to restrict the consumption of alcohol in a public space where it is associated with anti-social behaviour, which is what is happening in Thornton Heath.
If under 18s are caught drinking alcohol in public places, police can take away alcohol and fine them.
Why is Croydon Council issuing a drinking ban?
According to a report by Croydon Council, Thornton Heath was one of the borough’s crime hotspots in 2022, which justifies the ban.
The introduction of a permanent public space protection order (PSPO) will give police more powers to confiscate cans of booze and open bottles.
Sam Khasanov, the manager of the restaurant Blue and Orange in the High Street, told MyLondon that he would “fully support” the zone being established in Thornton Heath.
He said: “We think over the years the Thornton Heath area has degraded because we are located here every day we see people’s behaviour. There are people sitting all day and drinking. There are a lot of betting shops in Thornton Heath now and the more shops like this the more antisocial behaviour you get.
“We need to see more police officers on the street, we rarely see any. Families can’t walk with kids because there are a lot of people with beers walking without their tops and smoking weed in the street.”
Another local businessman, who remained anonymous, said women are dissuaded from walking in the area.
He explained: “It’s always been a problem round here, people always sit outside the shops getting drunk and making a nuisance. I feel sorry for women who say they hate walking past down there people who are drunk at two in the afternoon.
“I think I would support [the PSPO], you don’t want to walk down the street feeling intimidated, it has been happening for years now.”
Back in 2020, there was a previous PSPO but it lapsed.
A council report said: “This was due to a perceived reduction in ASB and a lack of recorded evidence that it was being used at the time.”
The report added: “This will provide another tool for police and council officers to make our public spaces free from antisocial behaviour and stop ongoing harassment and disorder. We will work with the police to ensure use of the power is recorded throughout the lifespan of the PSPO should it be implemented.”
There needs to be a six-week public consultation before the PSPO can be introduced by Croydon Council.
It is thought that the council’s cabinet is expected to approve this consultation on Wednesday May 24.