Cigarette cops to hit streets of Ipswich

A SQUAD of up to 30 cigarette cops will be on the lookout in Ipswich when a ban on smoking kicks in this summer, The Evening Star can reveal.

A SQUAD of up to 30 cigarette cops will be on the lookout in Ipswich when a ban on smoking kicks in this summer, The Evening Star can reveal.

The council officers will hit the streets from July 1 to make sure no-one smokes in a public enclosed place, including offices, factories, pubs and bars,

To make sure the ban is properly policed the staff will be trained and will have the power to enter premises undercover, sit among drinkers and even photograph and film people.

Ipswich Borough Council has been handed £64,000 to train staff and implement the ban over the next two years.

A council spokesman said it is not yet clear how many of the 30 staff will be “frontline cops” and how many “backroom staff”.

Business owners face £200 fines if proper signs are not displayed and fines of £2,500 if they refuse to enforce the ban.

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Council staff will also be able to hand out on-the-spot £50 fines to individuals flouting the ban.

A spokesman for the council said a lot of the details of how the ban will be enforced need top be finalised over the coming months.

The spokesman said: “We are hoping that over the next month or so we will have a much more detailed plan in terms of what's going to happen.

“We are talking about possibly up to about 30 officers being involved but all of that number won't necessarily be on the streets.

“Many of them could be offering advice to businesses and pubs.”

Across the UK central Government has given councils £29.5million for training.

Do you think people in Ipswich will obey the new smoking ban? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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www.ipswich.gov.uk

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