caused by public drinking and prostitution will come into force this
will come into effect from Saturday, 1st September. They will, for
the first time, make posting prostitutes' cards in telephone boxes a
criminal offence and set out procedures for local authorities to ban
drinking in specified public places.
Home office minister Keith Bradley said:
'Anti-social drinking on the streets and prostitutes' cards in phone
boxes can damage the image of an area and be a nuisance for local
residents and businesses.
'Local authorities will now be able to target public places where
drinking in public has led to nuisance, annoyance or disorder for
residents, businesses and licencees alike. More than 100 areas
already have bylaws to curb public drinking - the regulations will
ensure consistency of enforcement in these and other areas.
'Prostitutes' cards in phone boxes are offensive and create a bad
impression on young people and foreign visitors. It is an illegal
practice and these regulations will help law enforcers take action
The regulations coming into force mean that:
- Local authorities will be able to ban drinking in designated public
places where they are satisfied that nuisance, annoyance or disorder
is associated with it. In designated areas a police officer can
require a person to stop drinking and surrender alcohol in their
possession. Local authorities are required to consult with parish
councils, the police and licence holders before designating areas.
- Police will have the power of arrest for anyone placing an
advertisement relating to prostitution in a public telephone box. The
offence can be extended to other public structures such as bus
shelters. The maximum penalty for the offence will be a fine of up to
£5,000 or six months in prison.
Liverpool and Manchester are already using bylaws that include
confiscation of alcohol in specific public places.
Cllr Jane Chevis, chair of the Local Government Association's
public protection executive said:
'The Local Government Association has a keen interest in seeing
public disorder dealt with effectively and is always supportive of
measures to improve consistency of enforcement, in whatever sphere.
We therefore welcome the streamlining of the previously cumbersome
process that local authorities had to go through if they wished to
introduce bylaws to control drinking in public.
We shall be working closely with the home office on the
implementation of this provision.'
1. The Criminal Justice and Police Act 2001 received royal assent on
11th May 2001.
2. One of the Criminal Justice and Police Act measures, which is not
yet in force, will allow the police to issue fixed penalty notices
for a number of disorder offences, including the new offence of
failing to comply with a police officer's requirement to not drink or
surrender alcohol in a designated place.
3. The home office published an action plan entitled 'Tackling
Alcohol Related Crime, Disorder and Nuisance' on 3rd August 2000
which sets out objectives for taking forward programmes of work to
tackle under-age drinking, alcohol-related violence and public
4. The 2000 British Crime survey shows that victims judged that
offenders were under the influence of alcohol in 40 per cent of
5. Around 13 million prostitutes' cards are produced every year - BT
estimates that it removes 150,000 cards in central London every year.
We estimate that more than 700 'phone boxes in central London are
affected by this problem, as well as many in Brighton. BT estimates
that it spends£250,000 each year on additional cleaning costs to
6. Prostitution itself is not a criminal offence. The principal aim
of the criminal law in this area is to deal with the serious nuisance
and distress caused to the public when prostitutes ply their trade in
the street and to penalise those who seek to encourage, control or
exploit the prostitution of others.