Police to get new booze ban 'Asbos'

Monday 31 August 2009 10:25 BST

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Louise Thomas

Louise Thomas


People responsible for alcohol-fuelled crime and anti-social behaviour now face having new "booze Asbos" slapped on them.

Drinking banning orders (BDOs) will be available to police and local authorities to protect the public from further drink-related offences.

The orders will enable magistrates to impose conditions on individuals such as banning them from drinking in, or visiting, certain places. Breaches will be punishable with fines of up to £2,500.

The orders can last for up to two years, although offenders can have them shortened by the successful completion of a "positive behaviour intervention course". But civil liberties campaigners attacked the new orders as a "gimmick" that failed to tackle the causes of offending.

Isabella Sankey, director of policy for Liberty, said: "This new gimmick gives gimmicks a bad name. How many times can you recycle the broad powers in the Asbo first created 11 years ago? How many times can you spin a new 'crackdown' without tackling the causes of offending behaviour?

"It will be Jelly Bean Asbos for sugared-up kids next. Surely its time to call last orders on endless new legislation."

But Metropolitan Police Commander Simon O'Brien, who speaks for the Association Chief Police Officers on alcohol licensing, said the orders would help the police.

"The minority of mostly young people whom these powers are aimed at are usually well known in particular areas or local hotspots and, where appropriate, these powers add to the toolbox of tactics to be drawn on in tackling these drunken and persistent offenders," he said.

Home Office minister Alan Campbell said: "These orders will stop those people who are well known to the authorities, licensees and often the communities where they live, from ruining lives and will make them face up to their destructive behaviour.

"If irresponsible drinkers do not accept support, these orders will ensure that they face some very real consequences."

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