Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Hackney-wide Controlled Drinking Area consultation

Below is the text of an email I nicked from the Hackney Solidarity Network email list about the Council's proposal to create a 'Controlled Drinking Area' throughout the borough. So Stroppy will have to stay indoors on future visits, then.

I agree with the points in this email, and, having just filled in the consultation, I would also add that:

(a) The issue with harmful behaviour is the behaviour, not whether it is alcohol-fuelled or not. If someone is abusive or violent to me on the street, is it somehow more OK if they are sober?! No.

(b) The questions are loaded. One of them asks what type of alcohol-related anti-social behaviour I witness most often. I replied that I could not answer this question as I would not know if most of the behaviours listed were alcohol-related or not. For exampe - noise nuisance. If my neighbours are yelling at each other or paying loud music at 3am, how do I know if they are pissed or not?


Please help stop Hackney Council introducing a Controlled Drinking Area across the borough.

I know it is nearly Christmas but please spare a few minutes to participate in this online consultation exercise. The deadline is Christmas Eve so we have to be very quick! You just need to go to and select the "Borough Wide Controlled Drinking Area Survey". You can look at their background information there and participate in the online survey. There's only a few questions and basically it would be very helpful if as many of us as possible could register our opposition to this.

The council are consulting with residents on whether they should make the whole borough a Controlled Drinking Area. This would give the police the right to challenge anyone they see drinking alcohol in public - who will then have to either surrender their alcohol for them to pour away or risk getting a fixed penalty fine.

• Not only is this a gross infringement of our civil liberties, and a reinforcement of the powers of the state against the freedom of the individual, but it would have a particularly harsh impact on some of the more vulnerable sections of the community.

• A CDA would give the police an easy opportunity for discrimination and harassment. Experience in other boroughs has demonstrated that the police use this power selectively and only target homeless people or other people who they view as undesirable.

• It can also be understood as part of a whole process of criminalising homeless people. If you have no home you cannot drink "at home" - which is particularly difficult if you have a serious alcohol problem.

There is a lot more to say about this matter but there's only four days to go. So please try and fill in the survey - it really does only take a few minutes. And please forward this to any sympathetic Hackney residents who you know, thanks?


Hackney peeps - do the consultaion, go on. Other folk - the comments box is yours.

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