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Ban bid for beach booze-ups

Excessive drinking on Bognor Regis beach is set to be banned in a crackdown on anti-social behaviour.


Councillors will be asked next month to agree to stop people on the foreshore from drinking alcohol when it is linked to nuisance activities. Ignoring a request by an authorised officer to stop drinking or to surrender alcohol will be an offence.


But it will not be illegal to drink alcohol on the beach if consuming it does not affect others.


The restriction is included in a new public space protection order (PSPO) which Arun District Council is proposing for the town’s foreshore.


The area of foreshore which will be covered by the order, if it is approved by councillors, will stretch from the Bognor Regis boundary with Felpham at the eastern end of Butlin’s to opposite the southern end of The Steyne.


The order will also apply to the following parks and open spaces in the Bognor Regis area: Bersted Park, Hotham Park, Longbrook Park, Marine Park Gardens, Millberry Wood, Old Rectory Gardens, Steyne Gardens, The Brooks, Waterloo Gardens and West Park.


The proposed order will ban behaviour which causes or is likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress to the public. This will include shouting and/or swearing.


It will also ban occupying or living in a tent, vehicle or other structure for the purposes of camping in those areas.


Failure to obey will result in a fine for the offender. The order could last until 2023.


Bognor Regis town councillor Alison Sharples, who lives on the seafront in Marine Drive West, said: “I’m not in favour of groups of people drinking in parks and open spaces. That can lead to “But I think the public space protection order is an inadequate way of dealing with people camping on the beach. We should be helping homeless people rather than pushing them away. It’s not solving the problem that they are homeless.”


The order is one of three which will be considered by Arun’s cabinet members in February to replace the current order which offered town-wide protection against anti-social behaviour.


Another of the intended orders covers Bognor Regis town centre. It will extend from Church Path to Hotham Way, along to London Road, around the railway station to the Longford Road crossroads and southwards along Canada Grove, Steyne Street and Waterloo Square to the seafront.


It will feature a total ban on drinking and allow authorised officers to confiscate open containers which contain, or could contain, alcohol.


A report by Arun states it will also ‘prohibit behaviour which causes or is likely to cause harassment, alarm and distress to a member or members of the public, including shouting and/or swearing’.


The third order will ban cycling in the London Road precinct.


A council spokesman said: “Arun District Council is reviewing the PSPO as the order is time restricted and has to be reviewed before it expires.


“The current order comes to an end on March 31, 2020, and we are obliged to consult with residents, businesses and partners to review the effectiveness of the current order, which has been undertaken.”

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