Council ignore senior police advice and press on with no alcohol zones

THURROCK COUNCIL voted last night to press ahead with designated public protection orders (DPPO’s) despite advice from senior police officers that there was no evidence that they were needed.

Chief Inspector Richard Baxter and former assistant chief constable and now council public protection boss, Jim Nicolson sat stony faced as the Thurrock councillors ‘pulled rank” and voted through orders that they hoped would reduce crime and anti-social behaviour.

The orders relate to the Flowers Estate in South Ockendon, Blackshots Fields in Grays and Delafield Park in Little Thurrock and relate to powers to take action against over-18’s, annoyance and the consumption of alcohol.

Senior police had told the councillors that there was no identifiable problem in the said areas and that there was sufficient legislation in place to take robust action.

Labour had also objected on the grounds of cost but sensing public mood they voted with the Tories who, having spoken to their residents, believed that there was a real need for such action.

Tory councillors’ Maney, Arnold and Gledhill made impassioned speeches backing the orders.

But one former police officer poured scorn on the idea. Security consultant Grant Campbell said: “If you go to magistrates courts, you will see hardly any public order offences coming before the bench.

“If and if anyone is arrested, they will be soon released without charge.”

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