If Durham police catch you drinking in the street, it will cost you £90
Money that could otherwise be spent buying you 58 pints in Hatfield College bar
Imagine a world where every time you’re a bit too drunk in public, it costs you £60.
That Orwellian nightmare is now reality thanks to draconian measures from Durham Constabulary.
Durham students have been warned drinking in public will result in a staggering £90 fine, while anyone unable to stand-up will be slapped with a criminal record and a £60 fine.
In an email to Collingwood College, Professor Joe Elliott said: “Police have changed their stance in relation to responding to public displays of intoxication.
“The implication for those found in to be in such a state are potentially very serious.”
An explanation is yet to be provided as to why this has not been enforced before, or why these measures are being brought in now, though students have begun to speculate a link to the spate of tragic student deaths.
Over 15,000 people have called for further river safety measures such as gates, lighting and barriers, including Prime Minister and champion of the North East David Cameron.
In a reply to the Collingwood Principal, second year Charles Bodenham said: “No one would disagree that the past tragic events require immediate action to prevent yet more deaths. However, the procedures that the police have taken are counter intuitive and frankly dangerous.
“The police and emergency services are supposed to act as a safety net for individuals in danger. By criminalising and punishing an activity that is sadly so engrained in the university environment, you are effectively removing the ‘safety net’ designed to help such people.
“Furthermore, I wouldn’t be surprised if more drunk students now opt for the river path on their way home, in the fear that they risk being fined and jeopardising their future employability should they come across a police officer in the safer, well lit areas of the city.
“It shouldn’t need pointing out that merely using the ’stick’ to curb the public displays of intoxication is a naive and disgraceful misuse of power and I for one am shocked that the implications of these policies could have been so incompetently overlooked.”
The henchmen of the regime however focused on student drinking despite evidence showing students are drinking less.
Police policy now reads: “Any person who is found to be drunk and incapable (i.e. unable to get themselves home safely, people who are unable to stand unaided etc.) could be arrested or be given a £60 fine for the offence, once sober.
“This is a recordable offence and could show on any in depth CRB check. Durham City is a DPPO (Designated Public Place Order) area, so it is an offence to drink alcohol or have an opened container whilst in the city. This could amount to a £90 fine.”
Anyone studying Education or Law, where employment pends on a clean legal slate, will no doubt be extra careful about public drinking.
Politics and Economics second year Charlie Capel said: “When students are too drunk and they are in a very vulnerable position, the police shouldn’t be feared.
“Punishing people for being drunk will only force them to take routes home that aren’t patrolled by the police, and give incentive not to seek help when their lives may be in danger.”