Residents call for action on 'intimidating' street drinking
Intimidated residents have launched a petition calling for a controlled drinking zone to combat antisocial drinking in Mitcham.
Dozens of men are frequently seen drinking at Fair Green and then urinating in the streets, according to Councillor Peter Walker of Figge's Marsh Ward.
Describing the scene ahead of a public meeting on Friday, June 15, he said: "It was complete anarchy.
"I arrived at 5.30pm and they were passing bottles of vodka around and playing the bongos - they were completed paralytic.
"There’s a huge problem around there.
"We had lots of people come to the meeting saying they feel totally intimidated.
"Every night they are out there and it’s just not pleasant at all.
"There must have been 30 people outside the betting shop and there is also an undercurrent of drug dealing.
"Particularly for women it is very intimidating."
Several residents called for a controlled drinking zone (CDZ) at a public meeting on March 17, but were told it was unlikely the measure would be put in place because it was too costly.
Edith Macaulay, cabinet member for community safety, said the council would act if needed. She said: "We have to gather evidence in terms of what the situation is.
"Once we have gathered this we can activate what is required for our residents.
"As the local authority we have a duty to make sure our residents are safe."
Wimbledon town centre already has a CDZ which was unanimously agreed upon in 2005.
The CDZ allows police to confiscate alcohol at their discretion in the area, but is not an automatic ban for the individual.
The issue will be discussed at the next full council meeting on July 11.