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Orders curbing street drinking in 10 East Suffolk towns scrapped

PUBLISHED: 21:41 03 September 2019 | UPDATED: 21:41 03 September 2019

Police powers mean public orders banning street drinking are no longer needed in East Suffolk, according to the cabinet. Picture: SIMON PARKER

Police powers mean public orders banning street drinking are no longer needed in East Suffolk, according to the cabinet. Picture: SIMON PARKER

East Suffolk chiefs have given the go-ahead for 10 public orders banning street drinking to be scrapped, because other powers are in place to tackle the issue.

Steve Gallant, East Suffolk Council leader, reassured people the issue would still be enforced by several existing laws. Picture: PAUL NIXON/EAST SUFFOLK COUNCILSteve Gallant, East Suffolk Council leader, reassured people the issue would still be enforced by several existing laws. Picture: PAUL NIXON/EAST SUFFOLK COUNCIL

East Suffolk Council's cabinet met in Lowestoft this evening where it unanimously agreed to axe the 10 public space protection orders (PSPOs).

PSPOs allow police and authorities to crack down on specific issues, and cover clearly defined areas.

Ten had been in existence covering street drinking in Felixstowe, Kesgrave, Woodbridge, Martlesham, Rushmere, Leiston, Saxmundham, Kelsale, Wickham Market and Framlingham, but council chiefs claim there was no evidence they were needed.

Councillor Mark Jepson, assistant cabinet member for community health said: "There is no real evidence to say these PSPOs have been required or proved effective - we don't believe they are necessary at the moment.

"Where we need them we will use them but at the moment the ones contained in this report are not required."

Mr Jepson suggested there had been a change in behaviour where street drinking by youngsters was not as prevalent as it had been, while police had other powers they could use to enforce the issue such as dispersal orders, community protection powers and anti-social behaviour measures.

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The cabinet's approval followed a consultation which gained feedback from police and town and parish councils.

The data showed that 41% did not understand what the PSPOs were.

The agreement to scrap the orders means that the 155 signs across those areas will now be taken down.

Council leader Steve Gallant added: "This does not mean what we are doing is throwing away the legislation and allowing people to behave in an anti-social manner,

"This is not about granting a licence for people to go out and drink in public places, it's about responding to the need for legislation that's not needed now.

"There are plenty of pieces of legislation police can use, such as confiscation of alcohol from young people, drunk and disorderly and others."

The cabinet has only removed PSPOs banning street drinking in those ten locations, and doesn't include other orders it has implemented such as controls on dogs at Felixstowe beach or legal highs at Latitude Festival.

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