Bristol City Council has turned to a private firm to hand out fines of up to £100 to people drinking in a range of public spaces around the city.
3GS were appointed in January 2019 to enforce the Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) initiative, introduced in September 2017.
People drinking out of open alcohol containers in specified non-drinking zones – including Castle Park and Queen Square in the city centre – can be fined by the private firm’s enforcement officers.
A recent outpouring on social media platform Reddit has highlighted the increasing number of sanctions being handed out by the firm, which operates at no cost to the council.
The council said in January the “cost of delivering the service will be met through the payment of the Fixed Penalty Notices”.
The fines, which can also be issued for not cleaning up after your dogs or littering, are part of the PSPO initiative that covers much of the centre and several smaller areas on the outskirts of the city.
3GS said in January when it was part of a consortium that won the contract from the council: “We are grateful for Bristol City Council for entrusting 3GS with a high-profile frontline service such as this.
“3GS will be deploying 10 experienced and professional Enforcement Officers throughout the city and outer city regions for a two year contract to issue Fixed Penalty Notices.”
Opinion in Castle Park on the upturn in enforcement was mixed.
Jim Saunders, 71, of Knowle, said: “If it’s just to stop anti-social behaviour then I totally agree with it.”
Lucy, 20, from Dorset was far less keen.
“We clean up after ourselves, it’s not like we’re here smashing bottles and stuff,” she insisted.
She added: “We’re just trying to enjoy the sun.”
Mayor of Bristol Marvin Rees said: “Making the city a cleaner, more pleasant place to live and work remains one of my main priorities.
“Over recent weeks many people have contacted me about unacceptable levels of fly tipping and littering in their areas, so it really need tackling.”