Calls for Kemp Town alcohol disorder zone likely to fall flat

Posted On 26 Mar 2010 at 3:46 pm

Calls are being made for St James’s Street to be designated an Alcohol Disorder Zone to combat drink-fuelled crime and antisocial behaviour.

But Brighton police say the street – which is Brighton’s most heavily policed – does not have severe enough problems to warrant making the order.

Sussex Police’s  licensing officer Jean Irving told members of the St James’s Street Local Action Team (LAT) she would resist creating a zone at its last meeting in January.

But now, Green Councillor Ben Duncan has drafted an official motion for the LAT’s members to vote on at their meeting on April 14.

It mentions the “noise nuisance and disorder [identified] as a particular problem suffered by residents of the area – and a priority for police and council action” and says the zone should be created “with the aim of formulating and implementing an action plan to end regular problems of alcohol-related crime, disorder and public nuisance caused by persons traversing our residential streets each and every night of the week.”

In response, Inspector David Derrick said: “While we would respect the view point of the LAT and do what we can to support that view point, it would be an unnecessary strain on the LAT and this vote would not take this any further forward.

“I would also like to state that St James’s Street is receiving a considerable amount of police activity and long-term support through extra police resources and days of action.

“It is through these methods (that I am committed to) that the best way to challenge antisocial behaviour in the area will be achieved.”

Chair of the LAT Chris Cooke told Brighton and Hove News the proposal had been put forward by a small number of residents and he thought most businesses would oppose it.

He said: “St James’s Street is party central and I do sympathise with people who live on the side streets, but I don’t think an ADZ is the answer.

“It’s a draconian measure – not a tag which the hotels and businesses want and it could bring down house prices.”

Alcohol Disorder Zones give the police the power to charge pubs and clubs for extra policing that trouble caused by their customers require.

However, despite the Government predicting dozens being created within a year of the powers becoming available in 2005, not a single one has yet been set up.

Critics say this is because of the large amount of paperwork creating a zone would require.

  1. Cllr Ben Duncan Reply

    This story is, I’m afraid, hopelessly inaccurate!

    The motion you refer to was debated at the last St James’s Area LAT meeting, earlier this month.

    It’s pretty clear from the discussion at that meeting that a solution to the noise nuisance and disorder suffered by residents, customers of licensed premises, tourists staying in and other visitors to the area requires action: but not designation as an Alcohol Disorder Zone.

    Indeed the motion that I’ll present at the April meeting will be seeking support for an action plan that will, hopefully, AVOID designation of the area as any kind of disorder zone!

    I trust you’ll be correcting your story – do feel free to contact me directly, at any time, to ensure any reports mentioning me or my work with residents and businesses in the area is vaguely accurate.

    You can do so via twitter using @kemptownben

  2. Onlooker Reply

    Having recently lived in Broad Street, Kemptown, I can say with some authority that most of the noise and disorderly behaviour does NOT stem from the local pubs.
    It is caused mostly by young men and women returning to the eastern areas of Brighton (including Kemptown) from a night out in BN1.
    There used to be a charge called “Drunk and disorderly”, which led to a night in the cells. This should be re-activated.

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