Increasing concern over crime and anti-social behaviour

East London and West Essex Guardian Series: The area around Woodford station is said to have become a hotspot for street drinkers The area around Woodford station is said to have become a hotspot for street drinkers

Police are calling for a ban on street drinking to combat crime ans anti-social behaviour.

Officers have joined with residents and councillors to push for the introduction of Controlled Drinking Zone in Snakes Lane East and West in Woodford Green, which would give police the power to confiscate alcohol.

It follows calls for similar restrictions in parts of South Woodford following reports of problem street drinking.

Snakes Lane and Woodford tube station are said to have become a hotspot for drinkers and Redbridge Council has asked the Bridge safer Neighbourhood Team to ask for permission to introduce the ban.

Sergeant Jeremy Tyler said: “One of our three promises to the local community is to tackle street drinking and anti-social behaviour.

“The idea is to apply to the council for the zone in Snakes Lane East and West, which will include a 100-metre radius, and then to apply for funding for signage from the Area 2 Committee.

“We have stepped up patrols but street drinkers continue to congregate by the benches either side of Woodford Station and anti-social behaviour is happening on the door steps where residents live.”

In recent days, two street drinkers in Snakes Lane East were arrested.

Sarah Oliver, 41, described as a 'prolific priority offender', of Chartwell Court in Woodford Green, was arrested on October 24 and charged with criminal damage.

She is accused of throwing brick through the front window of an opticians.

On October 26 police arrested a man wanted in connection with failing to appear at court for assaulting a police officer.

Bridge Ward Councillor Paul Canal said he has been discussing the issue with police.

He added: “Unchallenged street drinking cannot continue, and it is having a negative impact on the local area, residents, commuters and young people that use these roads and the station.

"It is also very dangerous for the drinkers themselves and of course, they can become quite violent towards anyone that approaches them.

“The initiative taken by the police and the council is the right one, and they have my unequivocal support.”

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