The public reaction to rowdy street drinkers causing a nuisance in Huddersfield town centre appears to range from indifference to anger, while some fear the problems will ‘only get worse’.

YorkshireLive spent an hour in Market Place on Wednesday afternoon which has become a hotspot for street drinkers. During that single hour there was spitting, arguing, swearing, singing, screaming and some dancing. The area was littered with beer cans and some of those present appeared to be drunk.

Some passersby expressed resignation and indifference to the issues, while shop workers said they were fed up of it and suggested that such poor behaviour might dissuade people from venturing into town.

Read more:‘I would not come here at night or it it is starting to get dark – I will be more sensible now’

A range of opinions have been expressed on social media and in readers’ comments beneath the online story.

Drinks cans left behind in Market Place, Huddersfield

Michael says he walked past the area recently and saw two drinkers “swinging blows over a can”.

Gareth said: “Frequently have to push our granddaughter through that area. Not nice to see, but they are no trouble.”

Charmaine added: “If they aren’t causing any issues, then leave then be.”

Kathryn posted: “Not pleasant at all and the language.”

Reader ‘Honley Trotter’ wrote: “On look, a few folk are a bit fresh, not the end of the world is it?”

But one reader hit back at that view, saying: “It’s horrible and is a blight on the town centre.”

One reader was critical of the police and other authorities, saying they should be held to account for their alleged lack of action. Reader ‘Springwoodjack’ claimed the police had ‘given up’ policing inside the ring road apart from serious violent crime.

David posted: “Get used to it, it will only get worse.”

Huddersfield Market Place in the town centre has become a hotspot for street drinking and rowdy behaviour
(Image: Yorkshire Live)

And ‘JustEddy’ wrote: “It’s a slum now! I very rarely even go drinking in my home town anymore. Halifax and even Brighouse is so much nicer. Huddersfield is finished.”

One reader called for the ‘Police Box’ to be reinstated to boost the police presence. Reader Jon posted: “Never saw young people in town centres when I was a lad – we were all at work.”

Earlier this week YorkshireLive asked West Yorkshire Police and Kirklees Council to comment on the street drinking problems.

‘Police confiscating alcohol’

The Safer Kirklees partnership issued a statement which said: “We understand the concerns that have been raised by retailers and shoppers in Huddersfield town centre and would like to reassure the public that we are working together as part of the Safer Kirklees partnership, to address issues with antisocial behaviour related to street drinking.

“The area is covered by a Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) obtained by Kirklees Council. Both the police and council can also issue Community Protection Notices (CPNs) in instances where an individual’s behaviour has a detrimental effect on the quality of life of those in the locality, is unreasonable and is of a persistent nature. Breaches of both the PSPO and CPNs are a criminal offence.

“The police and council also work together to obtain Criminal Behaviour Orders (CBOs) against individuals involved in persistent antisocial or criminal behaviour. The CBO puts conditions on the individual which can include a ban from a certain area. Again, a breach of a CBO is a criminal offence and can result in a custodial sentence.

“The town centre policing team conduct regular patrols of the area, both in uniform but also in plain clothes, and utilise their powers to confiscate alcohol and move people away from the area.

“Reporting any antisocial behaviour like street drinking, rowdy or noisy behaviour helps us respond to issues and identify any areas of concern.”

‘Drinking rules need updating’

Sam Sharp, manager with the Huddersfield BID (Business Improvement District), said: “We recognise there is an issue with town centre drinkers and begging and we are hoping that the current PSPO (Public Space Protection Order) will be updated soon, which will help to deal with these issues. This is in the hands of the local authority.

“Our Street Rangers patrol the whole Huddersfield BID area over seven days and we do engage when matters get out of hand with street drinkers as well as report incidents of begging. If the Rangers witness anti-social behaviour, they will approach the individuals and engage with them, asking them to move on or contacting the police if necessary. We will continue to work in the town centre towards our objectives and work with relevant stakeholders in the town to improve the current PSPO.”

Sam says the PSPO needed updating, adding: “Currently it is not illegal to drink or beg within the town centre according to the PSPO. So the PSPO needs updating to make it illegal and then it can be dealt with in a legal sense.”

  • If anyone wants to make a report about rowdy street drinking, call West Yorkshire Police on 101 (non-urgent) or go online here


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