Bid for alcohol free town
TOWN centre bosses want to make the streets of Ipswich an alcohol free zone in a bid to tackle booze fuelled anti-social behaviour, it has emerged.Members of the borough council's executive committee will meet tomorrow to discuss the plans, which could be in place by this time next year.
TOWN centre bosses want to make the streets of Ipswich an alcohol free zone in a bid to tackle booze fuelled anti-social behaviour, it has emerged.
Members of the borough council's executive committee will meet tomorrow to discuss the plans, which could be in place by this time next year.
It is recommended councillors give the thumbs-up to the start of a consultation looking into the proposal.
The move has been made to crackdown on the rise in alcohol related anti-social behaviour that is plaguing the town.
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The scheme would not make it illegal to drink alcohol in a public place but it would become an offence for someone to continue to drink if told to stop by a police or community support officer or if they fail to hand over alcohol if asked.
If a person ignores either request they could be arrested and will face a fine of up to £500.
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The report to be considered by the council reads: “There has been in Ipswich, over the past few years, a problem with groups of people gathering in public, usually outside local shops, drinking alcohol.
“Members of the public have reported such anti-social behaviour as aggressive begging, fighting, verbal abuse, urinating in public and generally causing distress to local people.”
Similar bans are already in place in Felixstowe and Stowmarket while Suffolk Coastal District Council is also looking at enforcing them in Rushmere, Kesgrave and Martlesham.
Although the majority of problems are reported in the Alexandra and Westgate wards including the area around St Matthews Street, Westgate Street and Lady Lane, the council wants a blanket ban throughout Ipswich to stop troublemakers moving to other areas.
Phil Green, portfolio holder for communities, said: “We have been looking at what tools are available to use against alcohol related antisocial behaviour for some time and a designated public place order would be a valuable instrument in this approach.
“We very much hope the proposals receive multi-agency support and if everything does to plan then we could see something in place within 12 months.”
If given the go-ahead it is thought the consultation process will finish in June and would be overseen by the One-Ipswich Partnership Board in partnership with police, neighbourhood watch groups and public, private and voluntary stakeholders.
n. Do you think the ban is a good idea? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or email firstname.lastname@example.org