Should we ban people from bars for urinating in the street in Gloucester?
FRESH calls have been made for more city centre toilets from licensees who have said they are struggling to stop drinkers from urinating in the street.
The problem is proving a tough nut to crack, with bar and club owners facing a difficult dilemma during busy weekends.
Strict licensing laws state late night club and bar owners must not allow access to drunks – leaving them little option but to let revellers urinate in the street, they have said.
Police can take action by issuing on-the-spot £80 fines or ordering anyone caught out to clean up after themselves.
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The issue was raised at the latest Nightsafe meeting, a collective of police, councillors and businesses working together to improve Gloucester's night-time experience.
Neil Joyner, who manages the Famous Pint Pot, Elevation and Registry nightspots, has called for more investment into on-street facilities.
"Urinating is a problem, but we don't have the manpower to restrain someone who is doing it outside the club," he said.
"We had a drunk person who tried to get into the Pint Pot but we could not let them in as they were intoxicated. They needed the toilet, but had no choice but to go outside. It is catch 22."
This month, police and businesses won a long-running campaign for a gating order to block off Organs Alley at night, an area regularly used as a toilet. Some Gloucester venues have signed up to the Community Toilet Scheme offering facilities to non-paying customers.
Only The Westgate Pub offers the service after 11pm.
Speaking at the Nightsafe meeting, deputy leader of the city council Jennie Dallimore said there was no immediate plans for further investment in extra toilets.
But action has been taken to help reduce disorder with wheelie bins put along some problem areas of Eastgate Street. It is hoped they will encourage "pre-loaders" to dump empty bottles safely in the bins, rather then leave them lying around where they could be used as weapons if trouble breaks out. New measures by police to come down hard on troublemakers are also proving a successful formula in cutting crime, with low numbers of arrests in early September.
A section 27 order can ban people from an allocated area for 24 hours for causing trouble. Chief Inspector Richard Burge, said: "It is proving a useful tool for us.
"If people misbehave when they are drunk, they will get a knock on the door from one of our officers.
"They can then be put on to pub watch if necessary."