Aberdeenshire Council has been given permission by Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill to introduce a ban on the public consumption of alcohol in Peterhead.
From February, new alcohol byelaws which will make it an offence for any person who consumes alcohol in a designated public place and fails to stop when asked to do so. The new byelaws, which are similar to those which already exist in Fraserburgh, will come into operation on 20 February 2012.
Local authorities can submit proposals for byelaws to tackle public drinking under powers contained in the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973. All local authorities in Scotland have such byelaws, which cover more than 480 towns and villages, together with the built up areas within the city of Glasgow. There are four different offences that the local authority can choose from.
Scottish Government Justice Secretary Mr MacAskill said: “Public drinking is often a nuisance and can greatly hamper the quality of life for residents in a particular area.
“All local authorities, in Scotland, already have such byelaws in force and that demonstrates how seriously local authorities are tackling the problem of reducing the nuisance and disorder commonly associated with public drinking.
“I will continue to support other councils that come forward with similar byelaw proposals for designated places.”
Peterhead South & Cruden Councillor Stephen Smith welcomed the announcement. “While we’re fortunate in Peterhead in that we don’t have an extensive problem with street drinking, there are problems which need action to address them”, he said.
“The important thing is that we give the local police the tools to do the job so that if people are creating a nuisance in a public place as a result of alcohol, they can be dealt with.
“I know from colleagues in Elgin and Lossiemouth where they have also introduced street drinking bans that these have been very successful so I’m sure it will be equally as effective in Peterhead.”