Drinking in public places

Responsible drinking in public places

We want you to enjoy our parks and open spaces in Newham, so having a drink as part of a picnic with family or friends, for example, is allowed. 
This applies to all land in Newham that is open to the air and can be accessed by the public. It also includes Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. 

Read our byelaws for parks in Newham and Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park 

There is not a total ban on drinking alcohol in public areas in Newham. However, you must not drink alcohol in public if a police or council officer asks you not to. 

You can also drink in your own garden, on private property or at licensed premises such as cafes or restaurants which have tables outside. 

The law does not apply to London Underground and Docklands Light Railway stations, which have byelaws to stop drinking. 

When we take action against drinking in public 

We work with the police to take action against anyone who drinks alcohol in a public place and causes: 

  • Nuisance or annoyance to member of the public 
  • Disorder such as threatening or violent behaviour. 

What happens if you are found to be drinking in a public place and causing a nuisance? 

No further action will be taken if when stopped you: 

  • Stop drinking and give up your alcohol when asked and do not continue to behave in an anti-social way, then the officer will not take action against you 

Further action will be taken if when stopped you: 

  • Refuse to stop drinking alcohol when asked, your alcohol could be taken from you and thrown away 
  • Hand over your alcohol when asked but continue to behave in an anti-social way, the police officer can fine you on the spot or arrest you and take you to court 
  • Do not hand over your alcohol and you continue to behave in an anti-social way. 

You can be arrested, and you could be fined up to £500.