Hounslow Restores Public Space Protection Order

Lapsed powers to deal with street drinkers reinstated

Police will have more options when dealing with street drinkers
Police will have more options when dealing with street drinkers

Hounslow Council is planning a renewed crackdown on street drinkers that could see it confiscate alcohol from offenders.

It intends to bring in a three-year protection order to give police powers to challenge any drunk person being rowdy, noisy or disorderly.

If anyone is spotted harassing members of the public, littering or being a nuisance while drunk, the order would give police the power to intervene and move them on.

Under the public space protection order, the police will also be able to confiscate alcohol from offenders and fine them up to £100.

The council stressed the order would not stop residents from enjoying alcohol in a reasonable manner.

Supporting the proposal to introduce the order at a meeting of Hounslow’s Cabinet, council leader Steve Curran said: “I’m very pleased this has come through. It adds to our armoury in dealing with antisocial behaviour where alcohol is involved.

“This is not to stop individuals or groups or families enjoying our lovely green open spaces, of which there are 21 Green Flag parks. It’s not to stop them having a beer or a glass of wine, it’s just to stop those people who just go beyond the pale and are antisocial involving drink.

“It’s a good tool that the council, with our partners, including the Metropolitan Police, can use effectively to make people feel safer and happier.”

During a public consultation on the order, over 90 per cent of residents who responded supported its introduction.

According to the council, in 2018 Hounslow had a higher than average alcohol mortality rate of 47 per 100,000 compared to 39.4 per 100,000 for the whole of London.

Data attributed by the council to Public Health England shows that Hounslow’s number of heavy and binge drinkers is higher than the London average, with 23.8 per cent and 15.1 per cent respectively compared to 21.6 per cent and 13.2 per cent for the capital.

Hounslow Council has previously used public space protection orders to crack down on street drinking in the borough, with the council’s most recent order expiring last year.

Lisa Haseldine - Local Democracy Reporter

March 23, 2022