Crackdown on drunken crime

POLICE in Stowmarket are stepping up efforts to combat rising levels of alcohol related violent crime in the town.Recent research suggests drink plays a key factor in violent crime in town centres and police are launching a crackdown.

POLICE in Stowmarket are stepping up efforts to combat rising levels of alcohol related violent crime in the town.

Recent research suggests drink plays a key factor in violent crime in town centres and police are launching a crackdown.

In Stowmarket, Bury St Edmunds and Newmarket, 81 per cent of all such offences after 7pm were found to be alcohol related.

Operation Liberate, an ongoing campaign, will be stepped up during September with increased patrols in "hot spot" areas at key times.

Members of a dedicated police unit and officers from the Special Constabulary will also take to the streets to provide support.

Chief Inspector Mike Gooch, co-ordinator of the campaign, said: "We're not trying to ruin anyone's fun but the statistics speak for themselves.

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"We're not asking people not to drink, but would ask them to consider the amount they consume on a night out.

"It's no secret that Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights are our busiest in terms of policing and a large number of incidents are related to alcohol."

Landlords in the three towns will be sent letter outlining the concerns and will be asked to refuse to serve people who are "worse for wear".

Posters advising people to "Be Sober and Be Safe" will also be handed out.

Insp Gooch added: "When under the influence of alcohol small matters, which would not normally provoke response, see tempers flare and fists flying. This is clearly unacceptable behaviour.

"The increase in police presence will also provide reassurance to members of the public who are out for the night or who live in town centres."

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