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Police and partners help street drinkers move on

Warwickshire Police and Stratford District Council along with Warwickshire County Council, Stratforward, Bardwatch and the Recovery Partnership are working together to reduce street drinking and associated nuisance behaviour in Stratford town centre by combining robust enforcement action with support to help those concerned move on with their lives.

Inspector Faz Chishty of Warwickshire Police explained “The issue of individuals gathering to drink in Stratford town center has long been a concern for local residents and businesses. Shoppers and residents can feel intimidated by their presence and businesses believe that it deters customers from frequenting shopping areas.

The problem has proved difficult to deal with in the past, as street drinkers often have many underlying issues such as alcohol or drug addiction, physical and mental health problems or housing difficulties. However we hope this new approach will help resolve the situation.

The first stage of ‘Operation Mitcheldean’ has already started. Warwickshire Police have issued warning letters to a number of individuals, explaining what the concerns of the community are and advising that drinking in the street will no longer be tolerated, alcohol will be seized and continued failure to comply with directions to stop may result in a fine or a criminal record.

Individuals will also be signposted to support agencies, with staff from the Recovery Partnership on hand to offer advice and encouragement for individuals to take up recovery-focused treatment services to improve their quality of life.

Inspector Faz Chishty said “Street Drinking in Stratford Town has become a real issue for local residents, businesses and visitors. We are working closely with key partners such as Stratford District Council, Warwickshire County Council, the Recovery Partnership, housing associations and Alcoholics Anonymous.

“Operation Mitcheldean is a fresh approach to this issue combining robust enforcement action with a genuine desire to provide support to the individuals concerned. We are using this opportunity during Alcohol Awareness Week to offer a drop-in opportunity for the people at the heart of this problem to meet with those able to offer them support and guidance.”

Councillor Gill Roache, Portfolio Holder for Community Safety at Stratford District Council said “Street drinkers face many challenges and this balanced partnership approach aims to stop the negative impact that the drinkers have on the residents, businesses and visitors to our town whilst at the same time supporting drinkers to try and turn their lives around.”

Paul Hooper, Warwickshire County Council’s Community Safety Manager added: “We are pleased to support this latest initiative to tackle the problems in this area. We hope people will take up the offer of help and support and recognise what we are doing to address this matter to the benefit of everyone in the area.”

The launch of this operation coincides with National Alcohol Awareness Week. If you have an alcohol or drug problem or you are a parent or relative of someone who has a problem, then further information is available from from the Recovery Partnership at Stratford Healthcare, Arden Street, Stratford upon Avon CV37 6HJ telephone 01789 206770.

About Paul Hooper, WCC (575 Articles)
Group Manager: Community Safety and Substance Misuse
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