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.
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