Street-drinking, abuse and defecating in public: Police vow to battle Wisbech’s anti-social behaviour problems

POLICE in Wisbech have insisted they will continue to crack down on the street-drinking and public urination which have damaged the town’s reputation.

Officers from the anti-social behaviour and licensing team have issued nine �50 fines in the last fortnight to people who “continued to drink” in the Designated Public Places Order.

They have seized suspected counterfeit cigarettes and arrested offenders who have been abusive.

Chief Inspector Mike Winters, Fenland Area Commander, said: “The anti-social behaviour team have had some significant results, all of which target exactly the kind of behaviour that has been quoted in national press and damaged the town’s image.

“It is also something that the local population want to see us tackling.”

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Sergeant Dave Bax, licensing officer for Fenland, said teams of officers had been carrying out late-night and early-morning patrols in Tillery Park and other street-drinking hotspots.

On one patrol, police found prolific offender Juris Dragancuks in the park and arrested him for an alleged breach of his anti-social behaviour order.

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Sgt Bax said: “As we walked away one male decided to urinate in front of some ladies, so we arrested him as well. We had to get another van by this stage. This person was charged.

“We then caught a group of drunks in Crescent Gardens. One was abusive, so we arrested him and he got an �80 fine.

“Another was caught urinating by a tree and he was given an on-the-spot fine. His friend showed us a penalty notice he had received a week earlier for defecating in public. Disgusting.”

Some offenders were also found in possession of cannabis, while others had been arrested after giving false names to police.

Sgt Bax urged Wisbech’s off-licences to consult with police and consider removing some of the high strength alcohol from their shelves.

He said: “Boozers choose to buy high-strength alcohol from their local bar, which is often the nearby off-licence. They then hide it in the bushes and go back to drink it.

“I think it is time that the off-licences consider removing this rocket fuel from their shelves before we have a busy licensing period.

“These shops that stock this alcohol, particularly high-strength cider, are fuelling alcohol related anti-social behaviour and violence.”

Sgt Bax said some stores had engaged with police and stopped selling the strong alcohol, but others had ignored their requests. He vowed to continue working with off-licences to halt street-drinking.

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