Father slams Nightsafe politics

AN angry Felixstowe father whose daughter has been banned from the town's seafront pubs and clubs as part of the Nightsafe project, has likened the politics of the scheme to those of Stalinist Russia.

AN angry Felixstowe father whose daughter has been banned from the town's seafront pubs and clubs as part of the Nightsafe project, has likened the politics of the scheme to those of Stalinist Russia.

The man, who declined to be named, contacted the Evening Star after his daughter received a six-month ban for giving someone a black eye.

He criticised the 'secrecy' of the scheme, and accused the law courts of shirking their responsibility.

He said: "When did the law courts abdicate their responsibilities in favour of a people's court? I haven't heard of any since the rise of fascism or Stalinist Russia."


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The Nightsafe scheme launched in the summer of 2002, aims to crack down on drugs, drunkenness and disorder on the town's seafront – a popular meeting point for local youngsters.

It is run by a committee of police, landlords, councillors and residents who decide on the length of the bans that should be given out.

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Offenders are sent letters informing them of the ban and are then given the right to appeal in writing.

The man who contacted us was angry that his daughter was unable to have a proper hearing before the length of her ban was decided on.

He said: "The young people of Felixstowe should be warned how the scheme really operates. After committing an offence in or outside a pub the committee will sit in secret, you are not entitled to be present or have representation. You will receive a letter informing you of the length of the ban and the right to appeal, only in writing.

"The appeal is also heard by the same committee in secret."

But police have hailed the scheme a huge success after nearly 40 people were banned in its first year.

Pc Richard Durrant, licensing officer for Felixstowe police and part of the Nightsafe group, said: "It is working very well and a lot of people are suffering proper punishment through being banned – they cannot go out with their friends and they find that quite hard."

Inspector Andy Bushell, Felixstowe sector commander, said: "The committee is quite prepared to listen to people's complaints. Offenders are given the right of reply in writing and it is entirely at the committee's discretion whether they choose to invite someone to speak to them directly.

"They are very flexible and very proportionate in the way that they deal with things."

Bans last from three to 12 months or, in some cases, until further notice.

There are currently 23 people serving bans – four of them women.

Weblink: www.nightsafe.co.uk

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