Tucked away in the Standard yesterday was a little piece about a consultation for a borough-wide ‘in-public-spaces’ drinking ban across Greenwich.
Apparently there are already several ‘zones’ where you can’t drink in the streets. Has anyone noticed these? I vaguely remember it being talked about. I guess that I’m so used to seeing drunks staggering about of a Saturday night that whether or not they have a can of Special Brew in their paw at the time is a bit of a moot point.
The Council reckons these bans haven’t really worked as it’s just moved the problem on to the areas that don’t have bans. Since I don’t know how tight the the zones are, I don’t know if St Alfege Passage is included in the Central Greenwich one, but I’ve been talking to Robert at Number 16 recently about unpleasant violent events that have been happening there – people having their doors kicked in, threatening behaviour, verbal, and in some instances physical abuse. The latest incident was last weekend.
Robert’s had CCTV installed ever since he was beaten up himself last year, but the attacks continue. He has some footage of the latest attack that he’s sharing with the police.
It’s clear there’s a problem here, but I don’t know that it’s drinking in the streets that’s the source. If people are already mattressed by the time they come out of the various bars, especially those that have late licences (several of which were approved after someone died from a violent incident, if I recall) then whether or not they’ve bought an extra tin to carry about with them when they start to kick in someone’s door late at night (a terrifying thing, especially if you’re in bed at the time) seems a bit immaterial.
Surely it’s the places that sell booze to people who must already be obviously drunk that must be the issue. It’s hard to pin down specific bars – there are so many in a very small place (though Robert says that the gang who beat him up each had bottles of lager with little slices of lime in the top, which does sort of point to one particular venue in that specific incident – that, and that the drinking-in-the-streets-ban isn’t working very well.)
What is to be done, folks?