Booze ban set for Ipswich

BOOZE is set to be banned from the streets of Ipswich after plans to make the entire borough an alcohol-free zone were given the thumbs up by members of the public.

BOOZE is set to be banned from the streets of Ipswich after plans to make the entire borough an alcohol-free zone were given the thumbs up by members of the public.

As part of a bid to crack down on alcohol-fuelled bad behaviour, council bosses are keen to introduce a designated public places order (DPPO) across the borough.

The move will give police powers to fine or even arrest people who continue drinking booze once asked to stop.

Following a three-month consultation on the matter feedback from businesses, organisations in the town and members of the public has been positive meaning the policy is set to come into force by the end of the year.

Liz Harsant, leader of Ipswich council, said: “The consultation has been a huge success and there have been quite a lot of responses from various individuals as well as the police and statutory bodies.

“It is quite sad when you read some of the letters how people's lives are affected by people drinking around residential areas.

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“I'm very pleased that we are taking this forward. It has worked well in other places and stopped people being a nuisance.”

The proposals must now be agreed by Ipswich council before the ban can be put into action although Mrs Harsant said she expects this to be a formality as the idea has received cross-party support.

It was back in November last year that The Evening Star first reported that council bosses were contemplating introducing a designated public places order (DPPO) in the town centre.

Since then the proposals were amended to include the entire borough boundaries.

The ban was initially mooted after town centre traders raised concerns over a period of time about groups of drinkers putting off customers and intimidating staff.

Besides plans for a booze-ban Ipswich council has already carried out work to address long-term issues surrounding street drinking.

Research into the issue has revealed there is a hardcore of between 20 and 30 drinkers aged between 30 and 40 who frequent benches in the town centre.

The council has also removed a number of benches in the town centre where drinkers were known to gather.

Do you back the plans to make Ipswich drink-free? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.