Fight stepped up against street drinking

IPSWICH police have taken another step forward in their efforts to combat anti-social drinking.As part of the town's SMILE (Safety Makes Ipswich Life Enjoyable) campaign, officers are joining forces with retailers and licensees in a bid to beat street drinkers.

IPSWICH police have taken another step forward in their efforts to combat anti-social drinking.

As part of the town's SMILE (Safety Makes Ipswich Life Enjoyable) campaign, officers are joining forces with retailers and licensees in a bid to beat street drinkers.

Backed by The Evening Star and headed up by the police, the campaign has enlisted a range of organisations and businesses to ensure the problems during the day and at night are kept in check.

Under the banner of the SMILE strategy a meeting has been held to discuss street drinking and to explore how officers, the council, and retailers can work together to tackle the issue.

Its purpose was to ensure a unified approach to the problem.

Concerns had been raised that businesses had been adversely affected by anti-social drinking leaving people uncomfortable about walking in certain areas of the town.

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Police want to ensure those selling alcohol are aware of their responsibilities to other retailers and the public when it comes to selling liquor to customers.

Pc John Alcock, Ipswich's street drinking liaison officer said: “We have had our initial meeting and will be writing up a code of practice for people to sign up to the scheme.

“Westminster City Council had a similar scheme for a period of three months. At the end of it there was a 35 per cent drop in street drinking and businesses had seen a rise in profits as a result of more people using the area and its shops.”

A Designated Public Place Order (DPPO) was put in place by Ipswich Borough Council in December 2007.

This made it an offence to consume alcohol while in a public place in town, where a police request to cease drinking has been refused.

While officers have pledged to continue to enforce this piece of legislation, it has become apparent that a wider approach is required to achieve long-term progress.