January 7, 2021 10.48 am This story is over 40 months old

Police seek extension to Lincoln city centre drug and drink ban

Antisocial behaviour still on the rise

A ban on consumption of drugs and alcohol in public will be extended to the east of Lincoln city centre.

City of Lincoln Council’s Policy Scrutiny Committee are being asked to approve an extra zone to the Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) to cover Clasketgate and St Rumbold Street up to Vine Street and St Hugh’s Street.

The move has the support of police officers who say anti-social behaviour continued to rise during the 2020 summer months, despite increased enforcement and patrols in the area which includes Lincoln College, the YMCA and the Nomad Trust Shelter.

The PSPO was introduced in 2015 and prohibits the possession and consumption of “intoxicating substances” including alcohol and “legal highs”.

Those who fail to comply can end up with a fine of up to £1,000.

Councillors will also be asked to support renewing the existing order.

A statement from Police Inspector Claire Hime said there had been “repeat reports” of drink and drug related anti-social behaviour in the area.

“These cases were raised due to the detrimental impact the ongoing incidents were having on the lives of residents and visitors in the area,” she said.

Map of the PSPO including the proposed new Zone 3.

However, she said despite focusing daily patrols in the area and a week of enforcement in July with five search warrants and 14 arrests, “antisocial behaviour linked to street drinking and substance misuse alcohol use in the area continued to rise throughout the summer months”.

Between November 2019 and October 2020 there were 184 police incidents reported in the area, 78 of which were at the YMCA, 31 at the Baptist Church and 22 in St Rumbold Street in general.

Some 97 of the police incidents were for anti-social behaviour including street drinking and drunken behaviour, shouting and swearing, and other “inconsiderate behaviour”.

There were 22 public order offences, 21 crimes involving violence and 15 concerns for safety.

“I believe that the additional powers that [the PSPO] would give to officers would increase our ability to tackle the ongoing issues of antisocial behaviour linked to street drinking and substance misuse and therefore assist us in taking enforcement action to improve the lives of the victims of ASB,” said Inspector Hime’s statement.