A WORTHING Borough Councillor is on a mission to clamp down on street drinkers in the town centre.
Independent shop owners were invited to a meeting inside Worthing Town Hall last night as part of the Enough is Enough campaign – an initiative to prevent the sale of alcohol to street drinkers and drunks.
Councillor Diane Guest founded the campaign last year and is hoping to get all 11 independent alcohol retailers in the town centre signed up to the Enough is Enough charter by April.
She said: “The effect the street drinkers are having on the town centre is no longer acceptable. They see their street drinking peers as a community. Some of them have even been known to bring a change of clothes because they know they are going to mess themselves.
“We had Japanese tourists earlier this year taking pictures of two street drinkers in South Street Square and that was 3pm. That’s not acceptable. It’s not acceptable for the businesses in the town and it’s not acceptable for the tourists.
“We have got a couple of shops on board already. We have got to the stage where a couple of shops are no longer selling single cans.”
At times the meeting became heated as shop owners struggled to accept Mrs Guest’s reasons for wanting shops to voluntarily stop selling single cans of beer.
Fatinder Singh, manager of Chapel News, in Chapel Road, claimed street drinkers often became aggressive towards staff when they were refused alcohol. He added that more support was needed from the police if the campaign was to be enforced.
Responding to the issues raised, Inspector Allan Lowe, Adur & Worthing Neighbourhood Policing Team, said: “Sussex Police are supportive of the ‘Enough is Enough’ campaign in Worthing. In my view, local off-licences and retailers have a responsibility to assist their local communities by not doing anything which may increase the likelihood of anti-social behaviour occurring. Selling alcohol to certain people can, of course, be problematic.
“Any request for police assistance is always considered on its merits. However, we always look to support licence holders when a request is made, particularly if staff are threatened or trying to manage a potentially volatile situation.”
In an attempt to encourage retailers to stop selling single cans of beer as well as beer above 6.5 per cent in strength, the council has offered to pay the £89 application fee for any business wanting to add the conditions to their licences.
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