Drunks to face instant fines

DRUNKEN revellers caught misbehaving in Suffolk could face on-the-spot fines during a festive crackdown on binge drinking. Police have the power to hand out £80 penalties to people caught fighting, urinating or being sick in the street, the government has warned.

DRUNKEN revellers caught misbehaving in Suffolk could face on-the-spot fines during a festive crackdown on binge drinking.

Police have the power to hand out £80 penalties to people caught fighting, urinating or being sick in the street, the government has warned.

They will also target premises selling drink to under-18s and disperse groups intimidating or alarming the public.

Today's campaign launch, on the eve of busiest night of the Christmas party season, is being boosted by a series of cartoon-style posters issued by Suffolk Constabulary. They aim to highlight the dangers people face when out drinking at night and urge them to think about their behaviour.

A leisurelink radio system, connecting pubs and clubs in Ipswich, will also be in operation to share information on any flare-ups.

A nightbus, the last of which leaves at 3.30am, will run from Tower Ramparts in the town.

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Funded by the borough and county councils, it will run tonight and tomorrow night and on December 27 and 28.

It will go to Greenwich, via Gainsborough, Whitton and Castle Hill, and Thorington Park, via Maidenhall.

Councillor Paul West, Ipswich Borough Council's communities portfolio-holder, said: "We're determined to make Ipswich safer for everyone coming into the town at night over this festive period.

"We want everyone to celebrate in safety and get home safely, so our message is: enjoy the festivities but take it easy."

Home Office minister Hazel Blears added: "Christmas is a time when people should be able to have a few drinks and enjoy themselves, but there should not be an excuse for violent and anti-social behaviour by a minority, spoiling enjoyment for everyone else."

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