Calls for street drinking ban in Rye

There have been calls for Rye to be deignated a non-drinking area.

Banning street drinking is one of the measures being looked at by The Local Action Team as a way of tackling under-age drinking and anti-social behaviour in the town.

The news comes as Rye man, Ivor Brinkley Junior, has been banned from every pub in the town by a court.

Brinkley Junior was arrested when police were called to Wish Ward to reports of a man making threats with a bottle.

He was sentenced, at Hastings Magistrates Court, for three breaches of an existing ASBO and ordered to complete120 hours unpaid work, as well as being given the ban.

A street drinking ban would bring Rye into line with Hastings which has had such a measure in place for years.

Offenders who repeatedly breach the ban have been hauled before the courts and fined or even jailed.

The ban does not affect pub beer gardens.

Anti-social behaviour and under-age drinking was near the top of the list of Rye residents' concerns in a recently published crime survey.

Police have had some success targetting hot-spots for under-age drinkers and confiscating hundreds of bottles and cans in several operations.

Rye Local Action Team discussed the issue when it met earlier this month.

Rosalind Collier, from the group, said: "After a good deal of discussion it was agreed to look into making Rye a designated non-drinking area as Hastings has been.

"This gives the police greater leeway to deal with the problem, but there may be drawbacks.

"Following the public survey, the issue of anti-social behaviour was debated.

"In general police vigilance has resulted in fewer incidents attended and reported. However, there are still concerns about Friday and Saturday nights when there are alcohol related problems.

"There are two main issues. Groups of young people, mostly old enough to buy drink, gather with their cans and bottles of drink and cause a nuisance and a lot of litter.

Areas where they congregate include the Gungarden, below Hilder's cliff, and by Monkbretton Bridge.

"The other problem remains that of people leaving pubs and creating noise and trouble late at night.

"In Rye pubs are sited in residential areas so there are always people who will be disturbed by thoughtless behaviour."

Rye LAT is a committee which has been created to develop local community initiatives.

It is chaired by Rye and Rother councillor Sonia Holmes, and attended by local police, a crime prevention officer from Rother District Council, a representative from the Safer Rother Partnership and a representative from Rye Chamber of Commerce as well as representatives from the new local neighbourhood groups which are emerging throughout Rye.