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York alcohol report

The City of York Council has been recommended that it begins a consultation to reduce alcohol-related crime and nuisance

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The City of York Council and North Yorkshire Police officers have recommended that a consultation on introducing measures to address alcohol-related crime and nuisance in and around the York city centre should start.

They have recommended residents and businesses be asked about their thoughts on the issue.

It will propose the introduction of Public Space Protection Orders which would give the police discretionary powers to stop people drinking alcohol in the street and to confiscate alcohol in these areas. These orders could last for up to three years if introduced and there would be provisions for extensions.

This comes after 1,044 incidents of anti-social behaviour, 1,030 of which were alcohol-related, were reported to the police in 2021. In 2020, 1,144 incidents of anti-social behaviour were reported and in 2019 it was 1,464.

This shows that despite Covid measures being in place, including two lockdowns, it did very little to affect reports of anti-social behaviour to the police as from 2019 to 2020 there was only a 320 reduction in incidents.

Previously, Public Space Protection Orders have been in place in York as an Alcohol Restriction Zone was introduced around the city centre and train station in 2014. It meant that anyone who was in possession of alcohol or appeared visibly drunk could have their alcohol confiscated by police.

The Alcohol Restriction Zone within the city walls was in place for six years, having been renewed for three years in 2017. It does not appear to have been renewed in 2020 according to the City of York Council website.

At the time YUSU warned students about the Alcohol Restriction Zone and how they may be affected by it when enjoying the city centre in the night-time. Although some students showed discontent with the measure in 2014, it was recognised as a positive measure to improve safety in the city centre.

Last month, York was awarded the Purple Flag for achieving excellence in the evening and night-time economy. It is an accreditation scheme to identify cities and towns which are safe and thriving locations at night for both visitors and residents.

Councillor Denise Craighill who is an Executive Member for Housing and Safer Neighbourhoods on the City of York Council cited the Purple Flag accreditation in a statement on the proposed consultation but said that "these proposed orders are just one tool amongst many that can help. I would urge residents and businesses to take part in the consultation as we really want to hear a range of views as to whether to progress the orders and what and where they should cover."

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