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Drink here and it could be £500 down the drain

Lager was symbolically poured down a drain in Boston's new drink prohibition zone yesterday (Monday).

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Cllrs Woodliffe, left, and Bedford pour the first cans of alcoholic drink down a drain in the shadow of a sign proclaiming Boston town centre's new drinks prohibition zone

On the first day of new legislation becoming active in the town, council leader, Cllr Peter Bedford, and portfolio holder for community safety, Cllr Stephen Woodliffe, emphasised the tougher new rules.

The town centre is now covered by the new Public Space Protection Order and anyone failing to stop drinking alcohol when ordered to do so by a police officer could be fined up to £500.

Boston Borough Council is the first in the country to use legislation which does not now require a combination of consumption of alcohol AND elements of anti-social behaviour in order for action to be taken. Its decision to use the new powers as soon as possible was put in place waiting for the legislation to receive final approval by Government.

The decision by the council followed two rounds of statutory public consultation which revealed overwhelming support.

Cllr Stephen Woodliffe, portfolio holder for community safety, said the move is fully supported by Lincolnshire Police who will enforce it in the town area (see map below).

He added: "The public felt the town was being taken over by street drinkers, damaging the image of the town, and wanted the council to act. The council has responded to the wishes of the public and given the police the power to act as enforcing authority to deal with the situation. They will take a very tough line."

The new rules replace the former DPPO (Designated Public Places Order) - in place since 2007 - which only allowed for removal of alcohol and offenders by police if connected with anti-social behaviour.

A total of 211 signs have been put up throughout the PSPO zone - many are in English, Polish, Russian, Latvian and Portuguese. All contain an explanatory graphic.

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A Public Space Protection Order sign in Boston Market Place near the Ingram Memorial

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More information about the Public Space Protection Order in Strait Bargate. This repeats the drinking prohibited message in English, Polish, Russian, Latvian and Portuguese.

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The area covered by the new Public Space Protection Order