Published: December 6, 2010
New booze-free zone to cover whole of Burnham and Highbridge

All public areas in Burnham-On-Sea and Highbridge look set to become alcohol-free zones after a police proposal was unanimously approved by town councillors on Monday evening (December 6th).

Officers are keen to see the existing no drinking by-law covering several streets extended to cover the whole of Burnham and Highbridge in order to crack down on anti-social behaviour.

Sgt Ian Kennett of Burnham Police told councillors at Monday's meeting: "The current patchy coverage makes it difficult for us to enforce because people can move to an area not covered by the alcohol order, which is why we'd like the whole of Burnham and Highbridge covered."

Councillors voted unanimously in favour of the proposal, although a final decision on whether it proceeds now rests with Sedgemoor District Council.

Sgt Kennett added: "The order will allow us to request offenders stop drinking in public areas, and also enables us to remove and destroy drink where necessary. Those who fail to comply can be arrested."

He assured councillors that outdoor fetes and music events where alcohol is sold, such as in Burnham's Manor Gardens, will not be targeted.

Several Designated Drinking Orders are already in force in other parts of Burnham-On-Sea and Highbridge, having been originally introduced in 2005 to reduce anti-social drinking. Police have the power to ask for alcohol to be handed over if people are believed to be causing trouble and if they refuse, they can be arrested and fined £500.

The orders are currently in operation at Winchester Road Playing Fields, Manor Gardens, Rosewood Park playing fields, The Esplanade, Jubilee Gardens, Southwell Gardens, Apex Park, Bank Street, Market Street, and along Burnham beach. Proposals were also recently put forward to introduce a zone on Highbridge Town Green.


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