A Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) is now live in Neasden. The Government’s street drinking laws were time limited and have now expired so the Council has implemented it’s own PSPO in partnership with the Police to clamp down on street drinking.
The purpose of the PSPO is to help tackle and address the issues of street drinking which is taking place within the Neasden Shopping Centre area.
Despite the rank hypocrisy highlighted by the Political Scrapbook here (LINK), which describes how David Cameron profited £84,000 from a “binge drinking” bar chain, The Prime Minister is right to raise the issue of binge drinking.
Although the issue in Dudden Hill ward is in a slightly different context compared to what David Cameron is talking about, some of the issues are experienced in my ward, particularly in the Neasden area.
The Government talk of the soaring costs to the NHS because of excessive drinking. In Neasden, street drinking has an impact on the Council’s resources as people are drinking and throwing cans away on the streets rather than recycling.
In addition, individuals off their heads on alcohol are taking part in anti-social behaviour in surrounding streets and can appear intimidating hanging around in groups in front of people’s houses.
The additional time that the Police have to spend in these hotspot drinking areas is also having a drain on Police resources. In Neasden, I am working with Sergeant Matthew Howard and the Safer Neighbourhood Team along with the Neasden Action Group. Last week I also took the opportunity to raise it with Brent Borough Commander Matthew Gardner.
The Council also has a role to play through licensing. Alcohol is too readily available. It does not help that one in four premises in the Neasden shopping centre sells alcohol; and in some cases, as cheap as £1 a 500ml can of beer.
At the same time, there are underlying issues of jobs and unemployment that have to be addressed on a national scale.
Street drinking is a huge issue in the Neasden area. The amount of cans left behind by drinkers and the anti-social behaviour that residents and businesses suffer from drunk people is horrific.
At the last Dudden Hill Ward Panel meeting, I supported the resident’s and businesses’ plea to have it as a priority issue for the Safer Neighbourhood Team to tackle.
Today I will be going around Neasden with the Neasden Action Group to further investigate the issue and talk to residents about what they can practically do when they see someone drinking openly around their area.
Anyone is more than welcome to join us. We will be starting off where Cairnfield Avenue meets with Chartley Avenue at 1PM.