Ray Mallon calls for Middlesbrough street drink ban

Image caption,
Ray Mallon says the public would support a street drinking ban

Middlesbrough's elected mayor has called for a blanket ban on street drinking, to crack down on anti-social behaviour.

Ray Mallon said he had spoken to large numbers of people and the move would have widespread public support.

Under the proposals, existing alcohol-free zones would be extended to cover the whole town.

The ex-police chief, dubbed "Robocop" for his zero-tolerance stance on crime, wants a debate on the issue.

Under the plans, public alcohol consumption would be restricted to pubs and other licensed premises or events with a temporary licence.

Bars would still be allowed to have tables outside if covered by their licence.

Mr Mallon said: "At present we have a lot of drinking among young people in non alcohol-free zones, and on occasion when the police are called to incidents, they are unaware of the zone boundaries."

He denied that the move was heavy-handed.

"A small minority of people make life a misery for the rest.

"Decent people don't walk down Linthorpe Road or through shopping centres or even down the roads they live in drinking tins of lager.

"It's time to take the streets back for the vast majority of law-abiding people.

"There is clearly a debate to be had on this issue, but I feel the idea has a great deal of merit."

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