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Alcohol policy update issued

Updated rules have been proposed to limit the impact of excessive drinking on Bognor Regis town centre.


Arun District Council has published an amended licensing statement. This document includes how it controls shops selling alcoholic drinks.


The policy, issued under the Licensing Act 2003, says limits could be placed on the hours in which isolated shops can sell alcohol if concerns exist the business is the focus of disorder or anti-social behaviour.


“Pre-loading and post-loading, the sale of alcohol to people who consume it on the way to or from venues licensed for the sale of alcohol on the premises, gives rise to problems of drunkenness and disorderly behaviour.


“The proliferation of stores selling alcohol for consumption off the premises is of concern if it leads to drinking on the streets or alcohol being carried into premises such as pubs and nightclubs.


“The licensing authority (Arun) is concerned that alcohol loading from off-licence sales is a significant problem in the town centres of Bognor Regis and Littlehampton and adversely affects the licensing objectives.”


These objectives are the prevention of crime and disorder, public safety, public nuisance and the protection of children from harm. The proposed policy also sets out Arun’s concerns about the impact of all-day drinking on town centres.


“Over recent years, problems associated with street drinking have been experienced in town centres and on the promenades in the district,” it states.


“These individuals and the shops that supply them can be a focus of anti-social behaviour, disorder and disturbance.


“The supply of alcohol to individuals involved in the day-long consumption of alcohol on the street and in open spaces can directly lead to these groups of drinkers causing various types of crime, public nuisance and anti-social behaviour,” it says.


Arun has the second highest rate of alcohol-related hospital admissions in West Sussex, behind Worthing, says the planned statement.


It adds:


“Alcohol misuse has been identified as the dominant lifestyle issue in West Sussex, with levels of high risk drinking amongst younger people and alcohol-related admissions to hospital being growing concerns.”


The deadline for comments to Arun about the proposals is August 29.

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