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F-word welcome to Felixstowe visitors

PUBLISHED: 12:20 28 July 2001 | UPDATED: 10:23 03 March 2010

WELCOME to Felixstowe - but if you go there you might be leaving with less than you bargained for!

Take in the wonderful sea air, soak up the sun and the holiday atmosphere, but if you're planning trouble there's no guarantee you will be leaving with all your limbs intact.

WELCOME to Felixstowe – but if you go there you might be leaving with less than you bargained for!

Take in the wonderful sea air, soak up the sun and the holiday atmosphere, but if you're planning trouble there's no guarantee you will be leaving with all your limbs intact.

The Forum Food Court in Sea Road has decided it is fed up with little hands pinching what they have not paid for – and has taken action.

But the posters, telling would-be-thieves what will happen if they are caught, could leave a nasty taste in the mouths of other visitors to the resort.

The tone of the posters would make your ice-cream melt and your stick of rock bend.

The Evening Star spotted three posters but the worst of the lot shouted at customers and passers-by: "If we catch you thieving we will cut your f***ing hands off."

Others warned customers in a less than polite tone not to let their dogs sniff the sweets and also not to smoke, although offensive language was not used.

Forum Food Court owner David Manning said today the site was leased to another business and he said the posters would be taken down.

He said: "The first I knew about it was yesterday. I don't allow posters on my premises."

But Sandra Gray, who leases the premises from Mr Manning, said the posters were intended to be a joke and that she would not be taking them down.

She said: "It is a joke - everyone sees it as a joke.

"Some people even come and have their picture taken by it and it has not offended anyone.

"The posters are staying as we do not see any reason why we should take them down."

Mayor of Felixstowe Harry Dangerfield said he had not seen the posters but was disgusted by the language.

He said: "I am not very pleased with that. I know that businesses are allowed to take follow-up action but I do not agree with that.

"It is setting the wrong image and it is certainly not the image we want. I will see what can be done about it."

Suffolk Coastal District Council also took a dim view of the posters and said it could possibly be a matter for the police.

A spokesman said: "We are asking one of our licensing officers to have an informal chat with the police about the matter and give them the chance to go and have a word with the owner."

Anna Woolnough, a spokeswoman for Suffolk police, said: "We have not received an official complaint but if the sign does exist it may be an offence under the Public Disorder Act, section 4a of 1986.

"We would advise shop keepers not to take this kind of action."

The news comes as an Essex baker hit national headlines for stirring up a racial storm by putting up posters which advertised his bread as 'better than that French rubbish.'

Daryl Barke put up the poster in his Wickford bakery but was shocked to find a complaint from a member of the public has led to a possible prosecution under the Race Relations Act.

Three uniformed police officers turned up at the shop and told Mr Barke that the sign was likely to stir up racial hatred.

Spokesman for Essex police, Sergeant Andrew Meyer said that as a complaint had been received they were duty bound to investigate the matter.

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