Police want to stop sales of bottled beer at Tekka

Police want to stop sales of bottled beer at Tekka
The alcohol ban has left the streets of Little India more subdued, but a sharp rise in rowdy behaviour and large crowds at Tekka hawker centre is prompting the police to ask stall owners to stop selling bottled beer.

A sharp increase in rowdy behaviour and large crowds at Tekka Centre's hawker centre on the weekends is prompting the police to ask stall owners to stop selling bottled beer.

This is to reduce the risk of glass bottles being used as weapons in fights, explained the Singapore Police Force.

The move comes after an incident last month when a drunk man struck a 19-year-old busboy from behind with a broken glass bottle, and fled into the night.

Drinks vendor Maureen Ho, 42, said: "The police met us last week and told us that since people here often break bottles to start fights, we should ban bottles for three months and see if there are fewer fights."

But stall owners doubt if a no-bottles initiative will help.

"Even if we don't sell bottles, who's to stop them from bringing their own drinks here?" said drinks vendor Madam Ho Ah Hiang, 50, pointing to the shards of a liquor bottle on the ground.

The situation has become so bad on Sunday evenings that security officers use a barrier mesh to prevent foreign workers from overcrowding the open space in the middle of the hawker centre floor.

But outside of Tekka Centre, the Public Order (Additional Temporary Measures) Act has left the streets of Little India much more subdued.

Since the Act was enforced in April, licensed shops can sell alcohol only up to 8pm on weekends, public holidays and eves of public holidays. Alcohol also cannot be consumed in public places.

Small businesses which sell alcohol have been hit hard, with many shop owners worried that they may not survive the one-year ban.

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