Police step up patrols of Workman Gardens in continued crackdown on drunks - The Evesham Observer

Police step up patrols of Workman Gardens in continued crackdown on drunks

Evesham Editorial 18th Aug, 2017   0

A CRACKDOWN on drunks and drug users who are blighting Workman Gardens has been launched after police confirmed patrols in the area were being stepped up.

The Observer reported last week on John Wayne Griffith’s claims the riverside park was becoming a ‘hostile environment’ because council chiefs and the police were not properly enforcing the Designated Public Place Order.

The order, which has been in place in Workman Gardens since 2015, allows police officers to stop someone from drinking regardless of their behaviour and issue you them with a £100 fine.

A number of residents took to the Observer’s Facebook page to back Mr Griffith’s concerns that people are flouting the no drinking ban every single day.

Both Wychavon District Council and West Mercia Police hit back at the claims and said enforcing the order was a key part of regular patrols.

The force has now confirmed more frequent patrols of the area in a bid to stop people drinking inappropriately in the park.

Sgt Nick Doyle of Evesham Safer Neighbourhood team said: “Evesham patrols and Safer Neighbourhood Team officers are focussing efforts on enforcement of the Public Space Protection Order that prohibits alcohol consumption in Workman Gardens.

“This is being done as part of their daily patrols and has resulted in a number of people being advised, alcohol seized and disposed of and £100 fixed penalty notices issued to anyone found in breach of the order.”

Council chiefs have also confirmed to the Observer they are looking at the option of applying for an order to be imposed on Abbey Park to crack down on anti-social behaviour there.

Lynn Stevens, Senior Parks and Greenspace Officer at Wychavon, said: “We are looking into the possibility of designating Abbey Park with a Public Space Protection Order as well as Workman Gardens, so that both sides of the river area have a consistent approach and it will be clearer for enforcement.

“Any order is reliant on active reporting but generally we feel that it is a way to help discourage excessive drinking in parks. This would of course have to go through the necessary legal, governance and consultation arrangements.”

Coun Matt Snape, district councillor for Evesham South, hailed the police’s response and said the issue needed to be dealt with.

“They are finally listening to residents concerns and are finally taking the problem seriously,” he said.

“A number of residents contacted me saying how they felt they could no longer moor their narrow boat along the river because of this problem. The issue with people drinking in the park was just making people feel unwelcome.

“I have been very impressed with the police’s response. It just shows that public pressure does always win.”

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