Booze bans in Suffolk communities

NEW restrictions on drinking in streets, parks and play areas are set to be brought into force to stop anti-social behaviour in five east Suffolk communities.

By Richard Cornwell

NEW restrictions on drinking in streets, parks and play areas are set to be brought into force to stop anti-social behaviour in five east Suffolk communities.

The new rules will affect Kesgrave, Martlesham and Martlesham Heath, Rushmere St Andrew, and Framlingham.

Consultation has just started on the proposals, which will cover wide areas of the villages and towns, and people have until March 19 to give their views.

The new orders will give the police new powers to deal with drinking - including asking people to stop drinking, to hand over their alcohol to be poured away, and arrest anyone who does not comply, with fines up to £500.

Councillors have stressed in other towns where the new rules have been brought in - including Felixstowe and Woodbridge - that people drinking, for example sharing a bottle of wine with a picnic in a park, will not be breaking any rules unless they start acting in an irresponsible or inappropriate manner.

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Suffolk Coastal cabinet member Sherrie Green said the aim was to make the communities a “more friendly and welcoming environment and to improve the quality of life” of people living in the areas.

In Kesgrave, the area covered would include the community centre, churchyard and cemetery, recreation grounds and open spaces, and many roads.

Mrs Green said Kesgrave Town Council had applied for the order because of “the consistently large number of reports of disorder and alcohol related offences being reported in the town”.

She said: “Suffolk Constabulary report numerous occasions when there has been a large gathering of people consuming alcohol, in the parks and open spaces in the centre of the town at evenings and weekends, which has resulted in many members of the public being afraid to use these facilities. However, the problem is not confined solely to these times and there have been regular reports of people drinking alcohol in this area in the daytime.”

Similar problems were being experienced in each of the communities, with persistent reports of trouble in each.

At Rushmere, the golf course would be one of many areas covered, and at Martlesham the community centre and common land near the Tesco store.

Do you think the new powers will work? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk

WEBLINK: www.suffolkcoastal.gov.uk

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