Extra powers target booze crime

POLICE are to be given new powers to stop people drinking in public in parts of Felixstowe plagued by alcohol-fuelled bad behaviour.

POLICE are to be given new powers to stop people drinking in public in parts of Felixstowe plagued by alcohol-fuelled bad behaviour.

New orders published by Suffolk Coastal District Council are due to come into force on Monday to help officers deal with anti-social drinking.

Signs clearly indicate the areas where the regulations can be enforced.

Cabinet member Sherrie Green said: “I would emphasise that this is not a ban on everyone drinking in these places, but it gives the police the authority to take action against those who are acting in an anti-social manner.

“This is something which those people living in Felixstowe have wanted, and I hope it will improve the quality of life of those who live there and also those who visit the town.”

In the designated areas the police will have the power to require someone whose behaviour is deemed to be anti-social to stop drinking the alcohol and, if requested, hand over the drink.

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Failure to comply could lead to the person being arrested, with a potential fine of up to £500.

“A substantial proportion of crime and disorder is linked to alcohol abuse and, although Felixstowe is relatively safe when compared to many similar areas, this measure will give the police additional powers to tackle the minority who act in an anti-social manner after having too much to drink,” said Mrs Green.

“This council supports designation orders like these and partnership campaigns like Operation Nightsafe which are aimed at encouraging sensible drinking and better behaviour.”

Between September 2004 and October 2005 there were 554 alcohol-related offences in Felixstowe - meaning over one quarter of all crimes were alcohol-related.

Drink was at the root of nearly half all incidents of violence, and a third of criminal damage and theft from motor cars.

The new measures are a Felixstowe Town Council-led initiative and were agreed by Suffolk Coastal.

WEBLINK: www.suffolkcoastal.gov.uk

The new drink rules will cover:

All seafront gardens, the prom, beach, from Orford Road to Cobbolds Point plus Sea Road, Undercliff Road West and clifftops and all car parks.

Hamilton Road from Bent Hill up to St Andrews Road, including the area around the Triangle.

Undercliff Road West from Sea Road to the Ordnance, including Snow Hill Steps and Pram Hill Walk.

Cavendish Park and the new Orwell Green Skatepark.

Proposed Orwell High School all weather sports area, surrounding playing fields and parking areas.

Felixstowe Cemetery and allotments, and all open spaces.

Walton High Street.

Brackenbury Sports Centre.

Source: Suffolk Coastal District Council