Street drinkers in Armley face up to six months in jail under new laws
Street drinkers in Armley could face up to six months in prison, according to a new bylaw passed this week.
New powers banning street drinking in Armley Town Centre, known as a ‘partial closure order’, were given the go-ahead by Leeds Magistrates Court following work by Leeds City Council and the police.
The order, thought to be one of the first to be granted in the UK, says no person will be allowed in possession of an open container of alcohol in specific areas of Armley unless they are on licensed or residential premises.
The order will last initially until October 19, and a council statement added: “Anyone found to be ignoring the terms of the order after ignoring repeated warnings could face prosecution which includes a fine or imprisonment for up to six months.”
The council says the order forms part of a wide range of work being undertaken in the Armley community to tackle different anti-social behaviour issues.
This is also set to include increased police patrols, more licensing activity and regular operations to address anti-social behaviour.
Coun Debra Coupar (Lab), Leeds City Council’s deputy leader, said: “We simply will not tolerate anti-social behaviour in our communities, and residents can be assured that in conjunction with our partners, we will use every possible tool that is available to us to put a stop to it.
“I welcome the additional new powers which we have secured through the courts to tackle the issue of street drinking in Armley town centre and surrounding areas, which is a blight on the community and contributing to a range of anti-social behaviour issues. Through the order, we will be able to take tougher action against those repeat offenders.”
Insp Phil Gill, who heads the Leeds West Neighbourhood Policing Team, said: “The granting of this order is a real landmark, and will give vital additional support to our ongoing work to tackle the issues around street drinking and anti-social behaviour in the area.
“We are very much aware of the completely unacceptable negative impact that this kind of behaviour has on the community, and we have been working closely alongside our partner agencies to address any increased problems when they have occurred.”
Areas covered by the order include Town Street, Theaker Lane, Modder Avenue, Gelder Road, Branch Road and Armley Moor.
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