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Edinburgh declares alcohol-free zones to tackle anti-social drinking

The City of Edinburgh Council and Lothian and Borders Police have used bye-law powers to create alcohol-free zones in a city centre area blighted by anti-social drinking.

The two organisations have been working in partnership with the University of Edinburgh to tackle drinkers who gather in Nicolson Square and Bristo Square.

The two squares have now been designated 'no drinking of alcohol' zones in accordance with the Consumption of Alcohol in Designated Public Places Byelaws 2006. The council was due to put up signs around the squares from 20 October, prohibiting the consumption of alcohol.

Cllr Paul Edie, Community Safety Leader at Edinburgh Council, said: "Anti-social behaviour is blight on ordinary communities and we are working with the police to inform people that anti-social behaviour is not welcome and will not be tolerated.”

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He said the new signs would give out a firm message that the council was prepared to use bye-laws and other tools to diminish disorder and to stop anti-social behaviour at the squares before it became a problem again.

Superintendent John Hawkins from Lothian and Borders police said the bye-laws were an example of how good partnership working could make a real difference to communities.

“We know that issues such as anti social behaviour have a huge effect on local neighbourhoods and through this sort of enforcement, combined with our commitment to community engagement, we will make communities safer,” he argued.

The council had already used similar bye-laws in the Portobello Beach area of the city in the summer.

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