CBC pursues ban on street drinkers in Leighton Buzzard

Leighton Buzzard news
Leighton Buzzard news

Action to ban 13 named street drinkers from drinking and vomiting in Leighton Buzzard town centre has been taken by Central Beds Council.

The council has secured a interim civil injunction in response to widespread complaints from residents and businesses in North Street last year – with at least one company forced to relocate due to the issue.

A CBC spokesman said: “In partnership with Bedfordshire Police, we applied for and obtained an interim injunction against 13 named people, identified as street drinkers, who were causing problems in Leighton Buzzard town centre.

“The injunction is to prevent these people from drinking openly in the town centre, and also prohibits behaviour such as urinating and vomiting in the street.

“Whilst this is an interim injunction, we will be back at the County Court to make it permanent. This action is in addition to Community Protection Notices that have already been served on street drinkers.”

One affected businessman said: “I think it’s sad that it should have to come to that, but overall I feel it’s best for the town.

“I have noticed that street drinking has died down, especially since shops stopped selling to them. We’ve still got other problems with anti-social behaviour in Leighton Buzzard and I don’t know what the answer is to that.”

Issues of homelessness and street drinking in Leighton Buzzard rose to prominence in February 2017, with numerous reports of anti-social behaviour particularly in North Street. Concerns about daytime provision for homeless people led to CBC working in partnership with the Black Horse shelter – which also runs the town’s foodbank.

Off-licence Buzz Wine in North Street also closed down last year after complaints of selling alcohol ‘on tick’ to street drinkers. It later reopened under new ownership.

> Last month, a man was fined more than £2,000 by magistrates after breaching a community protection notice by entering Leighton Buzzard Library.

Adam Cheeseborough, 30, of no fixed abode, was fined £2,061 at Luton Magistrates’ Court on August 14 after entering the library on three occasions between January and March of last year.

Magistrates also elevated Cheeseborough’s restriction to a two-year criminal behaviour order which bans him from entering Leighton Buzzard town centre as well as from behaving in a threatening, abusive or intimidating manner in a public place.