Hundreds arrested in crime crackdown

MORE than 220 people have been arrested in a Christmas drink-related crime crackdown in Ipswich, Hadleigh and Sudbury, police said today.Officers also re-issued a powerful warning to revellers who break the law over the Christmas and New Year period and vowed to continue to use their powers to issue on the street penalty notices for disorder, which could see people being fined up to £80.

MORE than 500 people have been arrested in a Christmas drink-related crime crackdown in Suffolk police said today.

And in Ipswich, Hadleigh and Sudbury, alone 225 arrests have been made in a bid to rid the county of anti-social behaviour caused by drinking..

Today officers have re-issued a powerful warning to revellers who break the law over the Christmas and New Year period and vowed to continue to use their powers to issue on the street penalty notices for disorder, which could see people being fined up to £80.

Chief inspector Alan Caton, who is based at Ipswich police station has been overseeing the Alcohol Misuse Enforcement Campaign (AMEC), which encompasses everything from urinating in the street to serious violent assaults.

He said: “We want people to come into our towns and have a good humoured enjoyable Christmas and New Year without going over the top. Our officers have been very busy over the past five weeks of the campaign with 225 arrests so far, but we are now coming into our busiest period.

“The power to issue on the street penalty notices to people causing disorderly conduct enables officers to deal with an incident without being tied up with a prisoner in the cells. We will continue to use this power and hopefully nip problems in the bud before they get out of control.”

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“The festive period is an expensive time for us all, I'm sure the majority of people can ill afford an £80 fine at this time of year due to their inconsiderate, irresponsible misuse of alcohol.”

In a recent incident a female was caught on CCTV cameras urinating in the street, Officers, who had spoken to her earlier concerning her drunken behaviour, were sent to where the woman was and she was issued with an £80 disorder penalty, along with her boyfriend who was arrested and also issued with a penalty for being drunk and disorderly in a public place.

CCTV has played a prominent role in the police strategy, in addition to the Town Link radio system set up by Ipswich Partnership which keeps pubs, clubs and businesses signed up to the scheme informed of incidents.

Chief Inspector Caton said: “Ourselves and Ipswich borough Council have been working with licensed premises around the towns, looking at ways to reduce incidents of disorder particularly tomorrow when the majority of people will be finishing work before Christmas, and also New Years Eve.

“We are recommending that pubs and clubs close between 5pm and 7pm on these two evenings, and have a closed-door policy from 11pm onwards.

“Our towns are a safe place to come and visit and have a night out in. We would like to remind people if they drink sensibly, look after themselves and consider the safety of their friends by sticking together they can look to have a safe and enjoyable time.”

N What do you think of the police's zero tolerance policy? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send us an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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