Drunken antisocial behaviour could be curbed in Clapham


Residents may soon be given the power to reject new applications for alcohol licenses.


By Rachel Stevenson

Drunken antisocial behaviour could be curbed in Clapham next month.

Residents may be given the power to reject new applications for alcohol licences as part of a “saturation zone”.

The zone would be the first of its kind in Lambeth and is being considered by Lambeth Council following complaints from locals.

Resident Greg Farmer, Voltaire Road, Clapham, said: “I understand that young people want to go out and have a good time but I find it disgraceful the state the streets are left in.

“I think the zone is a great idea for those of us who want to enjoy Clapham as a place to live rather than just a place to get drunk.”

There are currently up to 70 licensed bars and restaurants in the proposed zone, as well as nearly 20 off-licences.

Councillor Rachel Heywood, cabinet member for community safety, said: “People should be able to visit Clapham at night without fear of abuse or intimidation from groups of people who have had too much to drink.

“But this is not intended to be something punitive to businesses. We want a safe and successful environment, and that is for businesses, too.”

The zone would run along Clapham High Street from the junction with Clapham Park Road, to Bedford Road and Clapham North station, including several of the adjacent side roads.

It would then extend north to Grafton Square, and along Clapham Common South Side to its junction with Crescent Grove.

Dan Perry, 26, Vodka Revolutions manager, Clapham, said: “We have just put in an application for an extended licence to be open until 3am. It’s only an extra hour but we need it to compete with all the other bars.

“I can understand the residents’ anger at the situation but it can be solved by how you deal with people at the end of a night.”

The bar has recently introduced a dispersal policy which involves letting drinkers out over 40 minutes.

The bar also has a club scan system. ID’s are scanned so that the bar has a record of who is inside as well as their addresses.

Mr Perry added: “If everywhere got this system it would be very beneficial for the area.

“We would know who was causing the problems and they could be banned from drinking in here and in other bars in the area too.”

Existing bars would also be prevented from extending their alcohol licences unless they were able to prove that they would not have a negative effect on the area.

Sgt Paul Graves, Clapham Town Police, said: “There are a lot of problem associated with the number of people that are coming and drinking.

“These people become victims of crime as they are vulnerable, and they also cause problems by becoming aggressive and violent.”

The decision will be made in a council meeting, anticipated to be held on November 9th.

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