Original article from Kent Live
Kent Police today (April 1) confirmed that it won't ban the consumption of alcohol in public spaces.
The force's statement comes after Nottingham Police announced a crackdown on drinking in public parks following problems with social distancing and litter.
The government is currently encouraging the public to socialise outdoors to stop the spread of COVID-19 but boozing in public parks as a result is causing problems.
Kent Police said it had not encountered too many issues with residents like those in Nottingham and encouraged people to continue behaving sensibly.
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Kent Police’s Assistant Chief Constable Nicola Faulconbridge said: "Currently there are no plans to change Kent Police’s response to drinking alcohol in a public place, however officers will continue to work closely with local councils to ensure that people are able to enjoy themselves in a safe manner and not at the expense of others.
"The vast majority have taken responsibility for familiarising themselves with and adhering to the latest government regulations which are designed to stop the spread of COVID-19 and save lives. As we approach warmer weather and further restrictions being eased it is still important everyone keeps up to date with and follows the COVID-19 rules."
Members of the public are now able to meet up in groups of up to six and do not have to exercise when socialising.
The March heatwave of this week brought many out to parks and beaches to enjoy drinks and food with friends and family.
In Nottingham, the situation spiralled out of control with photos of parks being turned into scenes from a festival.
Nottingham Police confirmed a tightening up on the drinking ban and has the power to seize drinks in the county.
Drinkaware outlines the nationwide laws on drinking in public as the following: "Only people over 18 can drink in public, except in areas of towns where Public Space Protection Orders are in place.
"A Public Space Protection Order, or PSPO, is a special decree that allows police to stop people from drinking in a certain area.
"PSPOs give police officers special powers to order a person to stop drinking alcohol in public and confiscate it from them.
"Even outside of these areas, the police can take away alcohol or move on under 18s if they have been drinking."
What Kent thinks
KentLive asked its Facebook followers if they would like to see the ban imposed in the county to counter people potentially breaking social distancing rules and leaving rubbish when socialising.
The response was mixed.
One person for the ban said: "Definitely should, alcohol should be banned from all parks and playgrounds."
Another wrote: "Yes, and on beaches, you should see the rubbish left behind every day by these people they just think the rubbish fairy will come along and pick it up but it's the amazing volunteers who have to deal with their crap, it isn't right."
Someone else stated: "Alcohol is for private areas such as home or bars not where public, especially children, are."
However, not all were for the idea.
Someone shared: "No. What – I have met up with friends that I haven't seen in 4 months and celebrate with tea?
"God, I'm not going to get off my rocker but after experiencing this nightmare think we should all enjoy life."
Another person pro boozing in the park said: "Lost Christmas, lost birthdays, and lost friends and you're saying we can't meet up and have a drink. Blimey, what has this world come to?"
And a third added: "No!! But people who do drink in parks should be respectful. And I'm sure there are people who will be!"