THE police and councillors have vowed to rid Hayes of street drinkers, with the problem said to be on the rise.
The culprits congregate on the bank of the Grand Union Canal, off Western View in Station Road, Hayes, and as well as leaving behind cans and bottles, can be noisy and deter people from using the towpath.
David Brough, chairman of Hayes Town Partnership, said: “We improved this area for the benefit of the public, and not for the street drinkers. Urgent action is needed to break the present pattern of behaviour and reclaim the space for the community.”
The waterside has been transformed in recent months. Waterway charity Thames21 holds regular litter-picking mornings, and the banks have been cleared of dense shrubs.
The improved scenery seems to have attracted a new crop of street drinkers, however, and things have worsened as the weather improves, and the daylight hours run into the late evening.
Inspector Kevan Baylie, of Hillingdon police, said it was an issue ‘on the increase’, and he confirmed that sergeants in Botwell and Townfield wards are working with the council and outreach workers from the Hillingdon Action Group for Addiction Management (HAGAM) to clear the area up.
He said officers would continue to move on culprits and confiscate alcohol, and prosecute those committing offences.
Anti-Social Behaviour Orders (ASBOs) have been served on prolific troublemakers. William Allsop, was given a two-year ASBO barring him from drinking in public last October.
The High Point Village is on the other side of the canal. Adrian Gill, who chairs the development’s residents’ association, said: “It seems to be groups of young guys during the day who sit under the willow tree on the bank all day.
“They leave cans and fast food boxes behind, and are generally rowdy. One resident whose balcony overlooks that area tried to take a photo of them, and they shouted racist abuse.”
Hillingdon was made a Controlled Drinking Zone in 2005, which gives police powers to confiscate alcohol, and fine those who do not comply.
A ‘dispersal zone’, which permits officers to expel anti-social groups from an area, is in force in Hayes town but only north of Station Road. This could be extended to cover this hotspot.
Councillor Janet Gardner (Botwell, Labour) said she receives many complaints about street drinkers from constituents.
“Some of these drinkers can be abusive and also beg aggressively. People going shopping or bringing their children home from school don’t want to see this sort of anti-social behaviour. Street drinkers need to know that Hayes Town doesn’t want them.
“We will do all we can to rid the street of these people who have no comprehension of how disgusting their behaviour is.”
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