Bhatia says by-law booze ban won’t solve safety fears

PICTURE BY SEAN BELL/NEWS.'CITY CENTRE POLICING UNIT. OFFICERS ATTENDING TO A DRUNK AND DISORDERLY YOUTH IN GEORGE STREET, EDINBURGH.
PICTURE BY SEAN BELL/NEWS.'CITY CENTRE POLICING UNIT. OFFICERS ATTENDING TO A DRUNK AND DISORDERLY YOUTH IN GEORGE STREET, EDINBURGH.
1
Have your say

A Tweeddale councillor does not believe a by-law banning the drinking of alcohol in towns would reduce fears over Peebles’ High Street.

A consultation is currently taking place on the proposals, with the Borders the only local authority in Scotland not to have such legislation in place.

But a survey connected to the review has shown members of the public regarded Peebles as the second most unsafe town centre in the region due to boozed-up locals at weekends.

Almost all the incidents were in relation to the High Street, with comments including “I’m just not sure what might happen at night when the pubs closing (sic) and the people are coming out”.

But Catriona Bhatia believes a public place drink prohibition would not work.

She said: “The issues on the High Street are caused by people coming out of licensed premises, so a ban on drinking in public places would not do anything to tackle that.

“The police already have powers to deal with disorder and a sweeping power to confiscate alcohol is unwise, particularly now that there is no local democratic accountability in policing matters.”

But fellow Peebles councillor Willie Archibald believes the ban should be introduced.

He added: “The problem in Peebles is more to do with dispersal of people from outside licensed premises. But it must be difficult for people living on the High Street at weekends dealing with the noise.

“I think it is right that the police are given these powers.”