A Designated Public Place Order (DPPO) covering the Stonards Hill and Lower Swaines recreation grounds in Epping started on Thursday 20 August 2009 to help deal with problems of alcohol related anti-social behaviour.
The DPPO does not make it an offence to consume alcohol within a designated area but it does make it an offence for anyone to drink alcohol after being asked by a Police Officer not to do so. It also provides powers for the Police to confiscate and dispose of alcohol in any person’s possession and arrest them if they fail, without reasonable excuse, to comply with the Officer’s request.
A DPPO may be enforced by a police officer, a police community support officer (PCSO) or an accredited person. If they suspect a person has recently drunk alcohol or intends to drink alcohol in a DPPO, in order to prevent public nuisance and disorder, police can require a person to stop drinking alcohol (or anything believed to be alcohol), hand over the containers they are drinking from (sealed or unsealed) or hand over any other containers believed to contain alcohol.
Pictured from left to right are Epping Forest District Council Councillor Syd Stavrou, Epping Town Council Town Superintendant Bill Towers, Epping Forest District Council Safer Communities Manager Caroline Wiggins and Neighbourhood Specialist Officer PC Gary Harrington
- The 2 areas covered by the DPPO are:
- Epping, Stonards Hill Recreation Ground, Stonards Hill, includes car park, scout hut, Jack Silley Pavillion car park, tennis courts, football stand and ground.
- Epping, Lower Swaines playing fields, incorporating the public footpath running along the boundary of St Johns School from Lower Swaines to Bury Lane. Garages behind 2 Lower Swaines, Epping and public land and highway extending from St Johns School outside numbers 2 to 18 and 1 to 43 Lower Swaines.
The Community Safety and Transport Portfolio Holder for Epping Forest District Council Councillor Mrs Syd Stavrou said: “August 20th marks the start of a very welcome initiative to give police more powers to stop this minority of anti-social drinkers from causing a nuisance in these areas. The Order is not designed to ban people from drinking and enjoying alcohol in a responsible way, it is designed to help maintain a peaceful atmosphere in our open spaces and reinforce the message that this type of behaviour will not be tolerated.”
Signs have been erected at both locations showing the areas subject to the DPPO. Penalties for non-compliance include a penalty notice for disorder of £50, arrest and prosecution for a level 2 fine (maximum of £500) or bail conditions that can stop the individual from drinking in public.
Epping Forest District Council with support from Essex Police and Epping Town Council agreed to adopt a Designated Public Place Order (DPPO) under Sections 12 to 16 of the Criminal Justice and Police Act 2001 as amended by Section 26 of the Violent Crime Reduction Act 2006 and the The Local Authorities (Alcohol Consumption in Designated Public Places) Regulations 2007.