Boozing in Pontefract Park Banned

Towns and cities all over the UK are setting up alcohol exclusion zones as part of an effort to crack down on anti social behaviour, possible vandalism and of course littering of bottles etc.  Pontefract already has an exclusion zone set up in the town centre but the Council are looking to also include a zone within the Valley Gardens.

An exclusion zone limits the consumption of alcohol within the zone limits while outside, unless a special licence is granted.  Those caught with alcohol would be forced to hand over the offending drinks, possibly fined or in extreme circumstances arrested.

Wakefield Council Chiefs have been urged by householders near to the Park to ban booze from within the town park after a series of incidents have occurred recently.  Lynne Austin who lives in Mill Hill Road is one of those homeowners and she stated that in the last couple of months they have had to call the emergency services at least three times.  On one of those occasions it was due to a group of young lads who had been drinking being aggressive with each other throwing bats and bricks around and this included crashing into their property.

She feels that while the ban will help the Police with trouble makers running riot around the park it will be unfortunate for those picnicers who like to take a bottle of alcohol to the park in the summer time as they would no longer be able to do this.  The ban will of course be beneficial in the long run.

Crime Down 21%

It was only November last year when the West Yorkshire Police enforced the booze ban in Pontefract town centre and since then, the crime figures have dropped by twenty one percent.  While this ban has proved successful the Council have stated that exclusion zones are not necessary in certain places.

The Service Manager for Enforcement, Mr Bob Taylor has stated that they are aware of concerns from the residents and they have started to seek approval for the process to begin.  The Council’s cabinet member, Councillor Olivia Rowley has also confirmed that they are looking into solving the problems arising in the Valley Gardens.

A ban within the park would be a new zone and would be classed as adjoining the Southgate boundary.