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Ipswich public space protection orders widened to tackle gang loitering and drug use

PUBLISHED: 06:00 10 July 2018 | UPDATED: 11:42 10 July 2018

The order aims to make it easier for police and the council to crackdown on problem behaviour File picture: GREGG BROWN

The order aims to make it easier for police and the council to crackdown on problem behaviour File picture: GREGG BROWN

A fresh crackdown on gangs and anti-social behaviour is coming to Ipswich, as police and the council confirm they are working to extend the town's protection orders.

Alasdair Ross

 said it was about the police and council working together Picture: LUCY TAYLORAlasdair Ross said it was about the police and council working together Picture: LUCY TAYLOR

Public space protection orders (PSPOs) deal with particular problems in the community, and impose a series of conditions to crack down on issues more easily.

Current PSPOs in Ipswich – which replaced designated public place orders (DPPOs) – surround street drinking across the whole of the town, but it has now emerged that Suffolk police has requested an extension of this to cover loitering gangs, drug use, anti-social vehicle use, dog fouling and defecating in public.

The matter is set to go to before Ipswich Borough Council’s executive this evening, where a decision will be made on whether to launch a public consultation.

Alasdair Ross, portfolio-holder for public protection, said: “We want to bring together some of the different legislation and enforcement covering many aspects of anti-social behaviour (ASB) throughout Ipswich.

“A new PSPO would help us and the police deal with a range of behaviours in public places that can spoil people’s enjoyment of our town, whether it is excessive drinking in public, stopping people enjoying our facilities such as our parks or people not cleaning up after their dogs.”

If approved, a public consultation will get underway this summer with the findings being presented back to the executive in the autumn.

It is hoped the measures will reassure members of the community so they feel safe following recent knife crime concerns, and help reduce the impact of gangs and drug use.

A Suffolk Constabulary spokesman said: “Over the last 18 months police have requested that a new PSPO is widened to tackle many of the persistent ASB issues in the town and wider area.

“Whilst the previous DPPO and existing PSPO can be used to address issues around street drinking, it fails to provide any redress to other, associated, issues such as solvent abuse, aggressive begging, rough sleeping, defecating or urinating in public.

“Other towns across the UK have used the introduction of a PSPO to tackle a variety of issues and we see the PSPO as a real opportunity to use ASB legislation to tackle some of the issues continually being raised across Ipswich in respect of ASB.”

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