Community clear up revamps part of town

PAINTING, weeding and litter collecting were among the activities during a community clean-up day in part of Ipswich town centre.

PAINTING, weeding and litter collecting were among the activities during a community clean-up day in part of Ipswich town centre.

Licensees, youth workers, police, businesses and other organisations joined forces to freshen up the Upper Orwell Street and waterfront areas.

It was all part of the SMILE (Safety Makes Ipswich Life Enjoyable) campaign, headed up by Ipswich Police.

A crackdown on street-drinking is part of the strategy and it is hoped brightening up places which have become a little run-down will deter drinkers from congregating there.


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Pc John Alcock, the town's street drinking liaison officer, said: “It's a community fightback. This is the first day of making this area unacceptable with regards to ensuring street drinking becomes a thing of the past.

“My ultimate aim is to completely eradicate street drinking from Ipswich town centre.

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“We spoke to retailers and off licences and they expressed interest in being involved today. One of the off licence guys has come here and is painting a wall. The landlady from the Spread Eagle pub was out here weeding.

“The street drinkers came here this morning and asked us what we were doing and went away very quickly.

“Today has sent a significant message that this community has not given up on this area and is doing something about it.”

As well as the police, there were also representatives from Suffolk County Council and Ipswich Central, which looks after the interests of businesses in the town.

The clean-up got rid of litter, graffiti and hazardous waste from the edge of Ipswich waterfront to the top of Upper Orwell Street, known as the Wash area.

In recognition of all their hard work volunteers were supplied with refreshments by Pizza Express as they cleaned up following their efforts.

The SMILE campaign, which is being supported by The Evening Star, aims to show Ipswich in the most positive light and reassure people they can use the town centre at any time in complete safety.

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