It can be taken as said that the rise in alcohol consumption especially by young people is directly related to breaches of the peace the prevention of which was the prime purpose of the first police force. Various measures have been taken in the last ten years or so to curb the habit and the resulting violence. They have generally concentrated on consequences for the individual convicted or suspected of alcohol related criminality or anti social behaviour. In other words the demand side of the equation has been the focus of attention. Control of the supply side; namely sales especially to young people by off license premises large and small, has generally been ineffective. I have posted here previously on this topic 14th July &1st September and commented at other times.
It strikes me that by far the most effective use of the law to reduce this blight on our town and city centres especially at weekends is the Designated Public Place Order (DPPO). The usual penalty for contravention is a Fixed Penalty Notice. A DPPO does not make it a criminal offence to consume alcohol within the designated area, but an offence is committed if an individual refuses to comply with a request to stop drinking by a police officeror refuses a FPN. Provided such areas are clearly signed and notice is given in local media the sanction for a breach is swift and sure; do as instructed ie stop drinking or be arrested and charged with a criminal offence. There is no need to investigate an individual`s history as there is with an ASBO or Drinking Banning Order. It reduces alcohol sales to under age drinkers because they would have to travel in order to quaff their illegally supplied booze provided the area was wide enough; an important consideration to prevent displacement.
London Transport introduced a similar ban some two year ago on buses and tubes. It hasn`t made life a joy on late night transport but according to friends it is certainly less of a jungle. That example should be followed in more town centres.