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Bid to ban alcohol in village

PUBLISHED: 16:24 17 January 2002 | UPDATED: 11:11 03 March 2010

URGENT action is to be taken to ban alcohol in public in a Suffolk village amid growing problems with under-age drinking and vandalism.

Discussions are taking place between police and council experts - but villagers say the time has come to stop the talking and take action.

URGENT action is to be taken to ban alcohol in public in a Suffolk village amid growing problems with under-age drinking and vandalism.

Discussions are taking place between police and council experts – but villagers say the time has come to stop the talking and take action.

They say the problems caused by youngsters in Trimley St Mary are not going to go away and only positive and tough measures will deal with the problems.

Parish councillors are to press for a ban on alcohol being consumed in public to cover the whole village and enable police officers to confiscate drink.

The council was told that beat bobby Pc Steve Butcher had started discussions with Suffolk Coastal council over a possible by-law following the ongoing problems with teenagers around the shops and play area in Faulkeners Way.

Councillor Nigel Bantoft said: "Throughout Trimley there is an increasing problem of alcohol consumption.

"We find more and more bottles smashed on the side of the road, on footpaths and passageways and on the play areas.

"The broken glass around the goal on the green is horrendous and a child is going to be injured there soon unless something is done.

"We have got to resolve to stop this now or not bother – and the time has come to stop talking about it and act.

"If a total drinking ban will solve the problem, then we must do it. It's no good keep on waiting and seeing what will happen next. We need to do it now."

Councillor Colin D'Eath said: "The drinking problem doesn't seem to be in just one place. You find cans all over the place. And we have seen a lot of vandalism connected to drink – small amounts of damage but very annoying for everyone."

The possibility of a by-law arose as a measure to deal with the teenagers gathering and drinking in Faulkeners Way.

Many of the youths are not local and come from all over the area to meet up with friends – and it is one of several gathering places used by youngsters in Felixstowe, Walton, Kirton and Trimley.

Most nights pass with little trouble, though there have been a number of incidents of vandalism and residents say they feel intimidated walking in the area during the evenings.

Police have increased patrols in the area, and Pc Butcher said this had deterred many youngsters. Letters had also been written to parents of some involved.

Officers were waiting to see the success in other parts of east Suffolk of the new by-laws introduced last year to ban the consumption of alcohol in public places, but Trimley St Mary Parish Council is now urging them not to wait but to act.

The by-laws allow whole villages or certain areas to be designated for an alcohol ban and this would allow police to confiscate all drink found at the time.

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