Drinking bans due for two towns
BANS on public drinking on the streets of two Suffolk towns are expected to come into force by the end of August.A lengthy process to introduce the bans in Leiston and Woodbridge reached the final stages after Suffolk Coastal District Council's cabinet gave the go-ahead for police to be given extra powers to tackle anti-social drinking in the two town centres.
BANS on public drinking on the streets of two Suffolk towns are expected to come into force by the end of August.
A lengthy process to introduce the bans in Leiston and Woodbridge reached the final stages after Suffolk Coastal District Council's cabinet gave the go-ahead for police to be given extra powers to tackle anti-social drinking in the two town centres.
The council announced yesterday that it is now in the process of implementing the proposed designation order following consultation with police, local landowners, pub licensees and the public.
Leiston-cum-Sizewell Town Council chairman Bill Howard welcomed the news.
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"I think it will at least stop under age young people drinking on the streets because I should think it's mainly them causing the nuisance," he said.
"I hesitate to criticise young people because I think everybody does these days and it's only a few bringing them into disrepute. I think it'll make the whole town feel much safer.
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"I would say in the past it has been a real problem. At the moment, the town is a lot quieter. I think the police have probably got on top of a lot of our problems."
He added: "We are concerned that police get moved to Lowestoft because they are perceived to have a bigger percentage of trouble and I'm afraid if they take the police out of the town it'll slip backwards again."
Police will have the power to require people to stop drinking alcohol in the designated areas and to hand over the drink.
Failure to comply will be an arrestable offence, with a potential fine of up to £500.
The designated areas are set to be marked by special signs, with 60 planned for Woodbridge and 30 for Leiston.
Sherrie Green, district council cabinet member for community wellbeing, said:
"In both instances, the local town councils and the police have identified that they have a problem with anti-social behaviour linked to drinking in public places and we are pleased to support their initiatives.
"This is a deliberate attempt to improve the quality of life of those who live in and visit those towns."
All that remains before the bans can come into force are for the signs to be put up in the town, official paperwork to be signed authorising the ban, and a legal notice advertising the implementation of it to be placed in local newspapers.