Brent Police turn a blind eye as football fans defy street drinking ban

Liverpool, Chelsea, Everton and Tottenham Hostpur supporters booze in front of officers

A drinking ban on the streets of Wembley was “impossible” to enforce during the FA Cup semi-finals at the weekend, residents have said.

The entire borough became a Controlled Drinking Zone as fans flocked to Wembley Stadium to watch Liverpool beat Everton 2-1 and Chelsea beat Tottenham 5-1.

But the alcohol ban, introduced by Brent Police, did not stop fans openly boozing on the streets and in front of officers.

Martin Francis, of Saltcroft Close, Wembley, witnessed the drinking.

He said: “With the huge crowds on match days unable to cram into a few pubs, pavement drinking seems an inevitable consequence of having the national stadium in our midst.

“I could see how impossible it was for police to confiscate cans from hundreds of excited fans.

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“We are increasingly passing laws which cannot be enforced and undermining respect for the law in general.”

However, Zerine Tata, 67, who has lived in the area for 54 years, said: “I agree with the ban, but it is really difficult to police; that is always a problem.

“On the other hand I am a great supporter of our shops, especially at Wembley Park and I want them to do well during events to survive.”

Brent Police said fans need to be educated about drinking bans on match days.

A spokeswoman added: “We are aware there were issues around people drinking in the CDZ area.

“We will take action were appropriate.”

On average it costs �3,000 to clean up after a football match at Wembley.

As two matches were played at the stadium last weekend the bill totalled about �6,000.

Brent Council foots half the bill while the other half is charged to The FA.

A council spokesman said: “The council is obliged to clean the land because it is public land. We came to an agreement with Wembley Stadium which said it would pay half and we think that is a reasonable contribution.

“There are economic benefits to having Wembley Stadium in the borough.”

A Wembley spokesman added: “The street cleaning after matches is funded from rates payable by local businesses who benefit from increased sales on match days.

“Nonetheless, Wembley makes a significant contribution to these costs.”