Sunday, March 12, 2006
Winchester Community Safety Partnership's Outreach Project into Street Drinking and the effect of the Alcohol Exclusion Zone is now well underway. A full time project worker employed through the Trinity Centre in Winchester is gathering information, opinion and evidence for inclusion in the project report.
The project aims to find out why some street drinkers refuse to seek help for their problems and how services provided in the City by the Council and by other partners may best engage with them and help them with their problems. Winchester's Alcohol Exclusion Zone was launched in July of last year and triggered some displacement into neighbouring areas. As a result this project was introduced to help identify the outlining issues for street drinkers rather than just extending the zone.
Research is focussing on the habits of street drinkers (only a few of whom are currently thought to be homeless) and the ability of local services to connect with them effectively. Wide consultation is taking place with the active involvement of service providers, residents and the on-street drinkers themselves. It is hoped that the project will conclude at the end of March and a report will be produced in April.
Brian Collin, the City Council's portfolio holder for Healthy and Inclusive Communities comments, "I hope we will learn from this study. I don't want merely to extend the zone each time there's a problem. I prefer to think about solutions that don't need us to make new legal provisions and that are helpful to residents."