AN ALCOHOL FREE ZONE for Grays town centre and park area was unanimously approved at a meeting of Thurrock Council on wednesday night.
The introduction of the zone comes after a year of pressure led by Grays Riverside councillor Carl Morris, Essex police and supported by residents and community activists.
Speaking after the meeting, Cllr Morris said: “This is the culmination of over a year of hard work to raise the quality of life for residents of Grays.
Credit must also go to Chief Insp Paul Moor and his team.”
In addition, councillors have called for the ban to be extended to the rest of the borough.
Independent councillor for East Tilbury, John Purkiss said:
” I welcome this, I just hope that some time in the near future we can look to extend this to the whole of the borough and help all our residents, not just those in Grays.
There are already alcohol free zones in central Stanford-le-Hope and Aveley village, and dispersal orders in West Thurrock, Grays, Corringham, Stanford-le-Hope, Purfleet and Ockendon.
The alcohol free zone orders mean the area becomes a place where it is an offence for anybody to drink alcohol after being told not to by a police officer.
The police can also confiscate and dispose of any alcohol, and it is an arrestable offence if anyone fails, without reasonable excuse, to comply.
Prospective council candidate for Grays Riverside, Charlie Key said after the meeting: “This is a great victory for people power and shows the council does listen and residents can help influence decisions about their neighbourhood.”
“Grays is at the heart of Thurrock, I hope the additional powers will help the police clean up the crime and anti social behaviour as well to help make Grays a town we can all be proud of.”