Tories pull rank on police over alcohol free zones

CONSERVATIVE councillors have demanded that plans to put alcohol free zones across the borough be implemented against police advice that they are not needed.

At a meeting of the Thurrock Council Licensing Committee, council officer, Lucy Magill gave the councillors an update on the work the council had undertaken regarding Designated Public Place Orders (DPPO).

When in force, DPPO’s give the police power to require a person to not carry an open drinking vessel.

Earlier this year, Conservative councillors in Little Thurrock and Ockendon had called for DPPO’s in their wards

Ms McGill informed the committee that the police response was that they could not allocate specific personnel to such areas and also believed that there was no specific or heightened problem in those areas.

But Little Thurrock councillor Rob Gledhill hit back.

Cllr Gledhill said: “It is a key issue in our ward. Only last week, I took the chief executive (Graham Farrant) on a ward walk, where the detritus in areas of cans and bottles was disgusting”

But West Thurrock councillor, Victoria Holloway hit back. She said: “This is clearly going to be an expensive exercise and may well divert money away from key areas.

“We have heard from the police that there isn’t the evidence of a problem sufficient enough to concentrate what are and will be, very stretched resources.”

But former special constable, cllr Simon Wootton said: “With all due respect, we are the members of the council and have the power to drive through these DPPO’s, should we need them.”

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