Summer campaign to tackle anti-social behaviour proves a success
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A summer campaign aimed at targeting alcohol-related anti-social behaviour in Gloucester has seen hundreds of bottles and cans of booze confiscated.
Operation Ebrius, which saw Gloucestershire Constabulary, Gloucester City Council, Solace and City Protection Officers working together, ran throughout August and September.
It followed concerns raised by the public and local businesses about anti-social behaviour being committed by street drinkers in the city.
Officers from the various agencies have enforced a zero-tolerance policy towards anyone breaking the city's No Alcohol Public Spaces Protection Orders (PSPO).
As well as seizing alcohol, the team has referred vulnerable people to support agencies including housing and substance misuse support.
During the two month operation, they have made 1,302 offers of support and seized 563 vessels of alcohol.
Members of the Solace Anti-Social Behaviour Team have also been successful in obtaining several Anti-Social Behaviour Injunctions against those intent on continuing with their negative behaviours.
These injunctions allow officers to manage the behaviours of the worst offenders where other attempts at intervention have been unsuccessful.
Working in partnership with Gloucester Business improvement District (BiD), the haul of seized alcohol has now been handed over to the team at Jolt, the art hub based in King's Square, where it is due to be turned into a piece of artwork.
Gloucester Neighbourhood Policing Inspector Ash Gardner said: "This is another fantastic example of the ongoing partnership work in the city to tackle anti-social behaviour.
“It is down to the strong partnerships that exist in the city that this operation has been able to have the effect that it has.”
Street Aware Lead Officer Adam Stevens, from Gloucester City Council, said: "We've listened to those concerns which were raised and have tackled the issues head on.
"We've been working alongside our colleagues in the police and City Safe to increase visibility and enforcement to send out a clear message to those who have been intent on causing us harm.
"Whilst we continue to make offers of support and assistance, it's important we balance this with the need to make the city a safe and pleasant place to work, live and visit.
"Although this period of intensive enforcement has come to an end, we will continue to work alongside our partners to ensure the problems do not return."
City Safe Manager Steve Lindsay said: "Operation Ebrius was launched to tackle the effects of anti-social behaviour in Gloucester City, including street drinking and begging, and it has made a significant positive difference.
"It was clear something needed to be done to address the feedback from the business community and visitors to our city who were affected by this.
"Everyone has made a significant difference to the lives of many vulnerable people and supported the local community in tackling several highlighted anti-social behaviour issues. Just seeing the amount of alcohol seized shows the need for the PSPO.
"I know with partner agencies we have been able to help several individuals address their substance misuse, get people back into employment, and support those who were previously homeless to get temporary or permanent accommodation.
"For those who did not accept the help and support on offer, and continued to act in an anti-social manner, they were given several warnings and in some extreme cases issued with injunctions by the Solace ASB Team.
"It is quite clear that we cannot rest on our laurels, and we need to commit to improving the situation for everyone affected, and if you have any concerns then please report it to the police or Solace."
Gloucester BiD Manger Emily Gibbon said: "This operation has been very successful. The partnership working has shown again that together a lot more can be achieved.
"Businesses have seen a drop in anti-social behaviour and noticed the positive effect that the raised visibility of police and partners in the city can have. We hope enforcement of the PSPO can continue, for the reassurance of businesses, residents, and visitor to the city centre."
Pictured are PC Gary Lee of Gloucester Neighbourhood Policing Team and City Protection Officer (CPO) Gemma Blackmore with a selection of the confiscated alcohol containers.