Police determined to tackle alcohol disorder

Inspector Davy Garrick

Inspector Davy Garrick

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Berwick’s Neighbourhood Inspector has pledged to call time on alcohol-related disorder in the town.

Anti social behaviour relating to drinking has been a problem in Berwick for some time, particularly in the summer months.

A recent post in facebook group Berwick Deserves Better stated: “The warmer weather has increased the numbers of the open air drinking fraternity.”

Shambles Brae and Old Mans Corner on the Walls were identified as problem areas, with the complainant describing empty cans “launched into the shrubbery, or anywhere other than the bins”.

The ongoing problem of nuisance behaviour relating to public drinking in Berwick was also raised at last week’s annual meeting of Berwick Town Council.

Responding to concerns, Inspector Dave Garrick insisted he was aware of the problem, and was determined to address it.

“I first came to Berwick 10 years ago when I got a flavour for the drinking problem the town had,” he said. “When I came back as an Inspector I was surprised it was still here. I thought I’d make it my business to do something about it.”

A Designated Public Place Order - which gives the police the power to demand that a person drinking in a public place stop doing so - was extended last year from Berwick town centre to include all the surrounding areas up to the A1, Tweedmouth and Spittal.

Anti Social Behaviour Orders were also imposed in a bid to control individuals who had been contributing to the issue.

“There was a particular group that was causing problems,” Insp Garrick said. “I put ASBOs on two and the others seemed to quieten down as they knew what would happen.”

He revealed that there was an ongoing process to get ASBOs and CRASBOs for certain individuals, and said that police would patrol Castle Vale and Coronation Parks to ensure they didn’t become a hang out for drunks.

“We are aware that a lot of money has been put into improving the parks, so we have included them into the public patrol plan,” Insp Garrick said. “Officers will have a walk through and make sure they stay a nice area for the residents. And not just the parks, the whole of the Shambles too.”

He added: “We work with partners such as Northumberland County Council and Four Housing Group to address the problem of nuisance behaviour associated with alcohol and I’m determined to continue with this work.

“We’re aware of it and we’re working on it constantly - I’m very much on your side in relation to this issue.”

The Berwick area has seen the largest crime reduction in the county since Insp Garrick took the reins in 2012.

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