CLOSED OFF: The Wisbech alleyway which became a hotspot for street drinking

The alleyway has been closed off in Church Mews, Wisbech.

The alleyway has been closed off in Church Mews, Wisbech. - Credit: Archant

AN ALLEYWAY frequented by street drinkers in Wisbech has been sealed off by steel bars as police continue to wage war on anti-social behaviour in the town.

Empty alcohol containers left by street drinkers in Wisbech.

Empty alcohol containers left by street drinkers in Wisbech. - Credit: Archant

Businesses had reported drunken vagrants loitering in the alleyway, in Church Mews, on several occasions with police often seizing alcohol and issuing penalty notices.

Sgt Dave Bax, licensing officer for Fenland, said the area smelt of urine and was “always littered with cans and bottles of alcohol”.

Officers worked with a nearby landlord and Fenland District Council to close the alleyway - and more Wisbech back-routes are being reviewed.

Sgt Bax said: “The alleyway was privately owned, so the landlord very quickly took action to prevent it being used for street drinking and anti-social behaviour. I am very grateful to them for their positive response.

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“Other alleyways are being looked at, with partners from Fenland District Council and Cambridgeshire County Council to consider the opportunity to deny drinkers from using them as well.”

Sgt Bax said the closure of the alleyway would also help to “reduce escape routes for criminals, who have been involved in theft in the town centre”.

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Wisbech’s residents have been plagued by street drinking and litter problems, with 21 off-licences able to sell alcohol in the town centre alone.

Sgt Bax said: “We continue to challenge new licensed premises in the town centre, within the restricted drinking zone, and those who drink in the town.

“However, we have noticed that some of the repeat offenders have taken to hiding away to consume their cider, and high-strength beer.”

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