Council reviews alcohol ban signs in public spaces

SDLP Councillor Shauna Cusack.
SDLP Councillor Shauna Cusack.

Derry & Strabane Council has said it is reviewing current signage warning over by-laws prohibiting alcohol in public areas.

Additional signs have now been installed across St. Columb’s Park warning people not to drink there.

The council confirmed the move after concerns were raised by Derry SDLP Councillor Shauna Cusack over children and adults drinking in some local parks and public areas.

Colr. Cusack expressed frustration over a “distinct lack of signage” in many council parks and walkways and said more signage may make people think twice about consuming alcohol in these areas.

“It is no secret that we have a serious problem with drinking in many council areas,” she said, “however, many people are unaware of the by-laws which enable the Council to apply Enforcement and fine those caught drinking on council land.

“I frequently encounter groups of both underage and young adults drinking in these shared spaces.”

A council spokesperson said that local parks have signage in place and that they work closely with agencies to ensure legislation is enforced. “An additional eight signs have been placed at key locations throughout St Columb’s Park this week. Council also works closely with agencies to ensure this legislation is enforced,” she said, adding that the current review of security and safety at parks and recreation facilities will include a review of the deterrent signage currently in place.

“The regeneration of many of the parks, summer break season and recent periods of good weather have resulted in increased visitor numbers to local parks and subsequently reports of antisocial activity.

“As a result, Council officers have met with representatives of the PSNI and community representatives to discuss recent incidents and are working closely with these groups to seek ways to address anti-social behaviour around the Council’s parks and recreational facilities.”

“I encourage members of the public to report any incidents of anti-social behaviour they witness or know of to Park Wardens or the PSNI.”