Blitz on loutish drunks

IPSWICH is taking part in an unprecedented blitz on drunken yobs and irresponsible licensees being launched today.The town has been named as one of 77 areas of England and Wales which have volunteered to take part in the Home Office's crackdown.

IPSWICH is taking part in an unprecedented blitz on drunken yobs and irresponsible licensees being launched today.

The town has been named as one of 77 areas of England and Wales which have volunteered to take part in the Home Office's crackdown.

The drive aims to help Suffolk Constabulary meet its number one priority of tackling violent crime in a public place, which is often fuelled by binge drinking.

But the Association of Chief Police Officers (Acpo) warned the eight-week campaign could lead to a rise in violent crime figures, as officers arrest more unruly drinkers.


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Over the last few years, Ipswich town centre has experienced rapid expansion of its late night leisure scene and now represents a major regional centre for entertainment

Innovative approaches have been developed in partnership with the borough and county councils. These include a "pub and club watch" under the banner of the Ipswich Night Safe project to ensure the town is a safe place to live and visit.

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Superintendent Tim Beach said: "Ipswich, compared to other areas around the country is a very safe place to life and visit. However, drink-related violent crime has been increasing in recent years and we're aware this creates fear in the wider communities.

"A number of enforcement activities are in place, which include plans with trading standards to carry out a series of test purchases at licensed premises in the area. This aims to combat the illegal sale of alcohol to those under the age of 18 and the serving of alcohol to drunks. "

Supt Beach added some known trouble spots could be closed if alcohol related disorder continues. This was seen when police used new powers to close the Angel pub, in Woodbridge.

Other planned enforcement measures include the issuing of fixed £40 penalty notices to drunk and disorderly individuals.

Stephen Green, of Acpo, added: "The message to people who are going to go out and get wasted is that police have a wide range of powers to use - and they have a will to use them.

"We believe that if we're going to crack the violent crime problem we have to make an impact on the way drink is sold and consumed in this country.

"It's not acceptable that the industry makes a profit and litters our streets every night with hundreds of drunks."

nDo you feel threatened by drunks? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk or join the forum at www.eveningstar.co.uk

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