Bristol

Bristol 'drink-in' protest over Castle Park alcohol ban

Drink In
Image caption Bristol Momentum Youth said the protest was against the fines for drinking alcohol in the park

A mass "drink-in" protest against an alcohol ban in a city park has taken place.

Bristol Momentum Youth said it would be "out in force armed with tins of mojitos and beers" calling on the council to lift the ban in Castle Park.

Organiser Isaac Kneebone-Hopkins said: "We'd like people to be able to enjoy public space which belongs to them."

Bristol City Council said "making the city a cleaner, more pleasant place to live and work remains a top priority".

The council said it was working with environmental enforcement company 3GS to "tackle environmental crimes in Bristol".

It said this included breaching Public Space Protection Orders (PSPOs) with drinking in a no-drinking area attracting a fine of £60.

Image caption Isaac Kneebone-Hopkins said the fines were "unfair" for people who were "not doing anything wrong"

Mr Kneebone-Hopkins said: "People are here to protest about the fines - £60 if you pay it very quickly, £100 if you pay after two weeks, which is a large amount of money for most people.

"We'd like to see the PSPOs looked at again."

A council spokesman said: "Public Space Protection Orders are used where particular behaviour is having a negative effect on the quality of life in certain areas.

"There are 12 such orders prohibiting street drinking in Bristol, including Castle Park and the council and police work together with an appropriate level of support and enforcement, with powers to issue fixed penalty notices if they believe an offence has been committed."

The council said no-one was fined during the protest.

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