SHDC erect notices throughout the town at Dart Music Festival
Yes, with less than 24 hours to the start of the 16th annual Dart Music Festival, the DMF committee have been informed of the following new restriction:
South Hams District Council (SHDC) at the request of the Police have erected new signs throughout the Town advising that the whole of Dartmouth is an Alcohol Free/Control Zone (AFZ). Apparently, there are already some smaller sings to this effect (which I have not seen), but these new signs will now be erected at all large Festival events such as ours. Dartmouth was designated an AFZ under a Designated Public Places Order in 2011 (previously a 2005 Order was only in place in relation to Coronation Park & Avenue Gardens) .
SHDC Licensing Section have explained to the DMF today that this dos not mean that people cannot drink on the streets but that it gives the Police the discretion to control drinking if they feel its leading to public disorder, i.e. the person is drunk and causing a nuisance. The Police can enforce the AFZ, at their discretion, by asking you in those circumstances to stop drinking and if you do not then they can arrest and/or fine you up to £500.00.
DMF committee need to confirm that it does not prevent people drinking on the streets and the act of drinking is not an offence, but that the Police have powers to stop people drinking and its effectively a tool to allow them to control disorderly and drunken behaviour.
What are your thoughts? Please leave comments below. Thanks