Drugs and alcohol

Alcohol control area

Public Space Protection Orders

Public Space Protection Orders (known as PSPOs) were introduced by the government in 2014 in order to help councils tackle crime and anti-social behaviour locally. PSPOs help ensure public spaces can be enjoyed by everyone and are free from anti-social behaviour.

Alcohol Control Area (ACA) in Southwark

An Alcohol Control Area (ACA) (pdf, 213kb) already exists in Southwark; the legislation that underpins the ACA has now changed from a Designated Public Places Order to a Public Spaces Protection Order. The ACA does not outlaw drinking in public but reflects a decision to control irresponsible behaviour linked to alcohol consumption.

The ACA does not prohibit drinking in public places but will give the police and other authorised persons (such as officers from the Local Authority who have designated powers) the power to confiscate alcohol, issue a fixed penalty of up to £100 or (if taken to court) a fine of up to £1000.

PROHIBITION: No person shall refuse to stop drinking alcohol or hand over containers (sealed or unsealed) which are believed to contain alcohol, when required to do so by an authorised officer/ person. It's important to note that officers will only enforce this prohibition when people drinking alcohol are currently or likely to cause anti-social behaviour.

Will this stop me drinking outside a pub or in my garden?

No, it only applies to public spaces, such as the street or a park. It will not stop anyone from drinking outside a pub during and up to 30 minutes after licensing hours, or from drinking in their own garden or sensibly in a public space. It will however, stop those committing anti-social behaviour in parks and public spaces through their excessive drinking.

A public space for the purposes of this Order means any place to which the public or any section of the public has access to, on payment or otherwise, as of right or by virtue of express or implied permission.

What is Anti-Social Behaviour (ASB)?

The Anti-social Behaviour (ASB), Crime and Policing Act 2014, section 2 defines ASB as:

  1. Conduct that has caused, or is likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress to any person
  2. Conduct capable of causing nuisance or annoyance to a person in relation to that person’s occupation of residential premises, or
  3. Conduct capable of causing housing-related nuisance or annoyance to any person

When was it designated, when will it be enforced and how long will it last?

This Alcohol Control Area Public Spaces Protection Order has automatically transitioned from the existing Alcohol Control Area Designated Public Protection Order on 20 October 2017, and will last for a period of three years (19 October 2020).

What support is available for street drinkers?

Individuals with alcohol issues in the borough, which may include some street drinkers, will continue to be offered advice and signposting into treatment services to help them address their use of alcohol as well as to reduce alcohol related anti-social behaviour where this exists. The authorities will continue to offer this support to anyone who needs it, but will use these additional powers to prevent alcohol related anti-social behaviour. Help can be accessed by using the details for CGL on this page.

How can I report alcohol related anti-social behaviour in my area?

You can use the 'Report anti-social behaviour' button below to report any type of anti-social behaviour or you can ring 020 7525 5777.

Report anti-social behaviour

Or you can contact the Police by calling 101 or tweet @MetCC between 8am and 10pm (non emergency reporting), or online report at:  www.met.police.uk/ro/report/asb/antisocial-behaviour/

Page last updated: 08 March 2019