Drinking ban extended by courts

By on 07/05/2013 in Cllr McKay, News

Birmingham Community Safety Partnership (BCSP) has successfully secured an extension of a landmark injunction, to help tackle the nuisance behaviour caused by beggars and drinkers in Moseley Village.

The Safer Communities Team secured an extension to the current order that was originally due to expire on 22 June 2013, which has now been successfully extended to expire on 31 October 2014.

The Section 222 injunction will mean that individuals are prohibited from conducting the following activity in the Moseley Village area:

(a) Being in possession of an opened container of alcohol;
(b) Begging;
(c) Urinating or defecating or exposing their genitalia, other than when using a toilet which is available for use by members of the public; or
(d) Having sexual intercourse.

Local residents have battled with this issue for over 10 years putting up with a regular congregation of large numbers of people drinking and begging in many different locations throughout Moseley. The aftermath of this activity has been just as serious including litter scattered all around Moseley from these individuals including cans, bottles, food wrappers, etc.

Specifically, the behaviour has included aggression and intimidation from beggars when money is not passed over, drinking, defecation and urination in clear public view, indecent exposure and sexual acts being performed in public, specifically within the confines of St Mary's Churchyard.

Since the original order was granted on 22 June 2012, there have been:

•    35 individuals breaching the order and all receiving additional support or intervention;
•    One individual subsequently committed for Contempt of Court and received a suspended three month prison sentence;
•    Two individuals, Nathan Davis and Adin Saleh have gone above and beyond the Injunction, meaning that they are now subject to a five year and two year ASBOs respectively. Both individuals are banned from the Moseley & Kings Heath Ward and did not contest the ASBOs due to the level of evidence obtained.

Cllr James, McKay, Cabinet Member for a Green, Safe and Smart City said: “The extension of the Section 222 is part of this package of measures to assist local residents in helping to make their area safer. Criminal acts and anti-social behaviour should not have to be tolerated by people trying to live their day to day lives in peace. The extension allows all partner agencies to continue with their excellent joined up approach and I hope that we can continue the success that we have had over the past year.”

Following these reports of concern from local people and partner agencies and prior to the application being made, BCSP had being working with local alcohol referral services including SIFA Fireside and Aquarius to offer support to the individuals with alcohol and substance misuse issues.

Posters that are currently on display in the area will be updated to reflect the new expiry date.

As before, any breaches will result in a fine, custodial sentence or both. Any resident who witnesses a breach of the conditions must report it directly to West Midlands Police on 101.

Section 222s have previously been successfully used to control boy-racers in the north of the city. This use of Section 222s to control behaviour where the identity of perpetrators was not initially known was initiated in Warwickshire.  This is the first time that this legislation has been used to control alcohol-related nuisance behaviour in this way.

Sergeant Tom O’Keeffe from the Moseley and Kings Heath Neighbourhood Team, said: “This is fantastic news for the Moseley and Kings Heath Wards. There have been some great results since the section 222 was brought in last year. By working alongside our partner agencies we hope to make Moseley and Kings Heath a safer place to live and work. Tackling anti-social behaviour remains a priority for us. We would urge anyone affected to contact us on 101.”

Notes to editors

1.    To report anti-social behaviour, contact the Birmingham Anti-Social Behaviour Helpline on 0121 303 1111 or West Midlands Police on 101.

2.    Please contact Natasha Bhandal, Public Reassurance & Communications Manager on 0121 303 8727.

3.    Birmingham Community Safety Partnership is a joint partnership between Birmingham City Council, West Midlands Police, West Midlands Fire Service and other agencies that work together to tackle crime and anti-social behaviour that affects our communities.

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