Anti-social drinking is being tackled head-on by police in Huddersfield.
And they are actively engaging with alcoholics, drug users and the homeless to direct them to services which can help to break the cycle of despair.
Sgt Mandy Mellor, of Huddersfield police, said: “We are engaging with individuals to advise them that there is a ‘no drinking zone’ in place and if they carry on drinking, their alcohol will be confiscated and if their behaviour warrants arrest, we will do so.
“What we have found is the majority of those we speak to regularly will hand it over or put it in the bin.
“They know they aren’t supposed to be drinking in St Peter’s Gardens and Byram Arcade and these are two known areas where they tend to congregate, both of which have been part of a ‘no drinking zone’ for a number of years.
“If their behaviour is causing alarm, distress or harassment then we can also issue them with a ‘direction to leave’ order which is essentially just that, they can’t come back to the area for an allocated time period, usually 24 hours.
“There is a socialising aspect to the groups who congregate in St Peter’s Gardens. These are people who don’t work and in many cases have complex issues which are affecting all aspects of their lives.
“But where their behaviour gets out of hand and they are affecting other people’s enjoyment of what is essentially a nice area of Huddersfield, that’s when we will act accordingly.
“We have had a number of individuals appear in court recently for criminal behaviour orders, which have replaced anti-social behaviour orders, but they are for people who have both committed a crime and are engaging in anti-social behaviour.”
And Sgt Mellor and her team have found that by signposting people to other services it can be the first step.
She said: “We’ve had what we call ‘days of action’, where we invite our partners to come out with us on patrol and take services to those who need them.
“For example, we’ve had immigration officers accompany us, drug and alcohol services, Housing Options.
“Obviously some people aren’t in the right place to want to be helped, but then others may find just not know where to start.”
For more information about alcohol support services go to lifelinekirklees.org.uk or to report drunken behaviour call police on 101.