A prolific street drinker faces being arrested if he sets foot in Thornton Heath after being banned by the courts.
The man, known as Nigel, will be arrested if he enters either Thornton Heath or Bensham Manor wards.
If he repeatedly continues to ignore conditions granted as part of a Criminal Behaviour Order, he faces repeated arrest and ultimately a prison sentence.
Now police will be prioritising the growing number of street drinkers, as many as 16, who gather around the Clock Tower daily for similar CBO’s in a bid to disperse them.
The order is aimed at tackling the most serious and persistent offenders. CBOs include prohibitions to stop the anti-social behaviour, and may also include requirements to address the underlying causes of the offender’s behaviour.
Residents complain about being kept up at all times of the night by the group shouting and fighting and others have said they feel ‘intimidated’ and avoid the Clock Tower.
Police revealed at the Safer Neighbourhood Ward panel meeting they are also looking at launching a poster campaign explaining why giving money to beggars who are not homeless is not the act of a Good Samaritan but helping addicts to buy drink and drugs.
An alcoholic, Nigel had been arrested several times and as well as drinking in the No Drinking Zone, he would beg outside Tesco and was witnessed urinating up against the Clock Tower in broad daylight and defecating in a public.
Paramedics have repeatedly been called to assist him by residents fearing for his well being after he would lay comatose for hours at a time often flat out on the pavement.
Having been an alcoholic for 40 years he can’t survive without alcohol so police have often resisted taking booze off him as he is likely to fit.
Thornton Heath’s Safer Neighbourhood Team worked for six months gathering evidence to get the CBO but were frustrated because every time Nigel was called to attend could he would arrive inebriated and the case would have to be deferred.
However on the last occasion he had been arrested the night before on a warrant so was in a cell overnight and sober when he went before the court.
The Chronicle reported that he was a Sutton Council tenant but he is now Croydon’s responsibility after Sutton washed their hands of him and stopped paying his rent at the Buller Hotel on Woodville Road where he had been living making him homeless.
Croydon housed him at the Wellington Hostel, in Lansdowne Road but he had continued to commute to Thornton Heath to continue to drink with other street drinkers.
Police and councillors say the group of drinkers have been offered help and are not unintentionally homeless.
Pc Sarah Kennedy warned “The plan is to issue every single one of them with a CBO and we will be working our way down the list.”
Two off-licences have also being issued with final warnings for selling alcohol to customers who are clearly drunk which ultimately they could lose their licence for. The council’s licensing team have been made aware of the breaches.
One off licence was witnessed selling alcohol to Nigel and challenged by members of the public who reported it to the police.