Alcohol free zones established in Appin, Tahmoor and Silverdale

Zones supported: Camden Council has already established several alcohol free zones in suburbs including Harrington Park, Camden and Gregory Hills. Picture: File Image
Zones supported: Camden Council has already established several alcohol free zones in suburbs including Harrington Park, Camden and Gregory Hills. Picture: File Image

Wollondilly Council has voted in favour of re-establishing alcohol free zones (AFZs) in three towns across the shire.

The council debated the proposed zones at last week's council meeting.

The council's AFZs in Tahmoor and Appin were established in 2017 and these zones are expected to be renewed.

Council staff also recommended that the council support the introduction of a new zone in Silverdale.

Councillor Judith Hannan said residents raised concerns about police presence in Wollondilly to enforce these zones.

"Obviously people say we need police to man those particular areas but if we don't have those signs in place they don't have the power to move people along," she said.

"I am happy to support this."

Council staff stated in the report presented to council that the principal goal of AFZs was to improve public safety 'by preventing disorderly behaviour caused by the consumption of alcohol in public areas'.

"Public areas including public roads, footpaths or public car parks may be included in a zone. An AFZ may be established for a maximum period of four years," the repoert stated.

"Once established they apply 24 hours per day. Council must erect a sign at the outer limits of the zone and at suitable intervals within the zone."

The council's report stated that Camden, Campbelltown and Nepean Police Area Commands were supportive of re-establishing the the AFZs.

Camden Police Area Command Crime Manager Detective Chief Inspector Paul Albury said any alcohol visible to the police in the immediate possession of a person in these zones may be seized.

He said police may also seize 'the remainder of the carton of beer, wine cask, contents of an open esky, etc'.

"From a police perspective it is ideal for drinking to occur in a licensed establishment where there are proper controls to ensure the safety of persons who are patrons, or at home," Detective Chief Inspector Albury said.

"From a police perspective public drinking is not controlled and leads to instances of malicious damage to businesses and/or private homes and vehicles.

"There are also many examples of public drinking leading to offensive behaviours including urinating in public, swearing or street fighting. All of these instances affect members of the community in their homes or as they go about their daily lives.

"Police work hard to ensure the effects of alcohol-related crime are minimised.

"Alcohol free zones are only an aspect of broader strategies to minimise alcohol-related crime."

The alcohol free zones will be in place for the next four years.

This story Alcohol free zones established in Appin, Tahmoor and Silverdale first appeared on Wollondilly Advertiser.