REVELLERS caught drunk and disorderly on the streets of South Yorkshire during the Christmas party season could be slapped with an £80 on-the-spot fine.
South Yorkshire Police yesterday announced plans to issue fixed penalty notices to those “that seem to be under the influence of alcohol and could consequently be involved in alcohol related disorder.”
Those who are deemed to be acting anti-socially and receive such a fine will have the choice either to pay the £80 or attend two sessions to “discuss the consequences of alcohol misuse” instead.
Chief inspector Shaun Morley said: “We want to promote a sensible drinking culture and we feel, through the fixed penalty notices, this will create a safer place for people to socialise this December.
“Once an officer issues a fixed penalty notice, the recipient will receive a £80 fine. The officer can then ask the recipient to leave the area until the following day or, if appropriate, a maximum of 48 hours under Section 27 of the Violent Crime Reduction Act 2006.
“A fixed penalty notice is a way for an officer to defuse a situation by not criminalising an individual for what can be seen as ‘silly’ drunken behaviour.
“This will therefore, potentially stop any incidents developing.
“Being under the influence of alcohol can make you vulnerable - vulnerable in the fact you can become a victim of crime or, in some cases, break the law and become an offender.
“Fixed penalty notices can prevent anyone getting to this stage.
“The sessions they can attend after receiving a penalty are a valuable way for people to face the consequences of alcohol misuse.
“It is up to the officer’s discretion on whether a fixed penalty notice is appropriate for the offence committed.
“If an officer feels that the only appropriate action for an individual is an arrest, an arrest will be made.”
Meanwhile, the police have also announced that officers will be working with licensed premises such as pubs and clubs in the run-up to Christmas, to try and tackle both anti-social behaviour and underage drinking.
A team of “dedicated officers” will be going into “key public houses”, looking the procedures they have in place.
Superintendent Peter Norman said: “By working with each individual pub we hope that we can keep crime and anti-social behaviour to a minimum over their busiest period, as well as enforcing the appropriate standards.
“Each pub is different and has different concerns, issues and needs. Therefore, by working and advising them on a one-to-one basis each problematic area can be sorted.
“We hope that by doing this we will ensure that all key premises around South Yorkshire are prepared for the festive period.
“By working closely with us will help them understand the importance of having such procedures in place; preventing any anti-social behaviour from happening in or around their premises, which can subsequently have an effect on their licensing conditions.”
Police visiting pubs and clubs will be looking at areas such as management, capacity, security, drugs and whether glasses or plastic drinks containers are used.
These operations tie in with South Yorkshire Police’s “Shaken and Slurred” Christmas drinking campaign, which focuses on issues such as drink-driving, anti-social drinking and domestic violence.
One part of the campaign involves police officers inviting drivers to take voluntary breath tests.
South Yorkshire’s chief inspector for roads policing, Stuart Walne, said that roadside tests are being conducted “at various times throughout the day at a number of different locations, not just at pub closing times.”
He added: “If you have been out drinking at night you must be aware that you could still be over the limit the morning afterwards and therefore may driving illegally.”