Jun 26 2012

Harrow Police and the Alcohol Exclusion Zone

Some interesting posts from @MPSHarrow this week on Twitter, telling people that “Harrow is an alcohol exclusion zone so street drinking is illegal.” Which isn’t quite as accurate as, perhaps, Harrow Police might like it to be.

We checked with Harrow Council. They pointed us towards a leaflet on the Alcohol Exclusion Zone which goes to pains to point out:

“This order is not a ban on drinking alcohol in public” and “It is not an offence to consume alcohol within a designated area.”

The Criminal Justice and Police Act 2001 introduced the power for Local Authorities to designate public places in which it would be an offence to drink alcohol after being requested not to do so by a Police Officer. That’s not quite the same thing as Harrow Police might think. Or wish for.

There is, of course, much more to it than than, and, of course, the powers – if not misused by Police – stand a good chance of actually helping to remove drunks from the streets and reduce noise and other disturbance.

But to blithely call street drinking ‘illegal’ is wrong. Let’s hope it’s just a mistake.


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