Call for crackdown on pub violence

A LANDLADY trying to combat crime in her Ipswich pub today said police should have more powers to crack down on criminal behaviour in pubs.

A LANDLADY trying to combat crime in her Ipswich pub today said police should have more powers to crack down on criminal behaviour in pubs.

Sue Irvine, who took over The Haven in Felixstowe Road in March, says offenders causing trouble often move on by the time police arrive to 999 calls.

Last Saturday a 29-year-old barmaid was grabbed around the neck and punched in the face when she tried to calm down a customer who was drunk and causing trouble.

The day before, she called police when four men were beating up another man in the pub garden, but by the time a lone officer arrived, the group had left.

Mrs Irvine said she has been told by police she risks her licence if she calls them too many times.

She said: “The trouble is usually caused by groups who move from one place to another.

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“We do all we can - by stopping people coming in after 10.45pm for example, but people can get drunk and cause trouble any time of the day.”

She also called for police to be able to prosecute after a complaint from the licensee. At the moment, if someone is assaulted in her pub and the victim does not complain, there is nothing she can do except bar them.

She said: “They said there was nothing they can do if the victim doesn't give a statement, even when I know the names of those involved, police say they could not take any action against them.”

A spokeswoman for Suffolk police said: “Attendance at incidents is dependant on resources and consideration must be given to the fact that occasionally all resources will be committed to other incidents.

“Police are unable to prosecute for an assault when there is no complaint from a victim, except in domestic violence cases. However, on these occasions other offences such as public order offences should be considered.”

The barmaid was attacked at around 9.45pm by a man described as white, in his late 30s, around 6ft and of stocky build, with short light coloured hair and wearing a light coloured t-shirt.

Anyone with any information is asked to contact Pc Chris Tyler at Suffolk police on 01473 613500.

N Should police have greater powers to prosecute violent offenders in public places when the victim does not complain? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1An or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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