SHEFFIELD - A poster campaign could be drawn up to discourage people from donating to street drinkers and help tackle the issue of antisocial groups drinking booze in public. Police, councillors, business owners and key city centre figures gathered to discuss how to reverse the worsening trend of street drinkers taking ‘legal highs’, discarding heroin needles and defecating in public around Devonshire Green and Devonshire Street.
Sheffield City Centre Residents Action Group chairman Peter Sephton said: “It was a very positive meeting with all the agencies in attendance. One of the things put forward was that drinkers are now gathering in groups. But the Archer Project and Ben’s Centre both work with individuals, so there was a suggestion that they do something focusing on groups.
“Another was that ‘legal highs’ in combination with alcohol are causing people to be more aggressive than previously. The possibility of a poster campaign was discussed, to discourage people from giving to beggars on the street - you are just helping to kill them more quickly if you give them money. That might be combined with collection buckets for the two projects. There are a lot of experts doing their damndest to solve the problem and working very hard.”
Green Party councillor for Sheffield centre Jillian Creasy said the key issues for her were the need for improvements to 101 number response times and potential improvements to off-licence reviews. She said: “I think there’s a lot of issues that really need bottoming out, but in terms of giving new licences, should there be tighter restrictions? And when there are reviews, should there be a more proactive approach to checking conditions?
“There’s still a long way to go but there has been a bit of movement. I’m heartened that people are really trying to work together to resolve the issue.”
The Star/Oct. 3, 2014
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