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Extended powers to tackle street drinking in Ipswich

PUBLISHED: 05:41 04 November 2020 | UPDATED: 11:32 04 November 2020

Police can seize alcohol from nuisance street drinkers in Ipswich under the PSPO powers. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Police can seize alcohol from nuisance street drinkers in Ipswich under the PSPO powers. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Sarah Lucy Brown

Public order powers in Ipswich to tackle street-drinking-related anti-social behaviour have been extended for a further three years.

Councillor Alasdair Ross, portfolio holder for community protection said the powers had been effective to date. Picture: IPSWICH BOROUGH COUNCILCouncillor Alasdair Ross, portfolio holder for community protection said the powers had been effective to date. Picture: IPSWICH BOROUGH COUNCIL

Ipswich Borough Council’s executive unanimously agreed on Tuesday night to extend the public space protection order (PSPO) which can see officers seize alcohol in a bid to stop nuisance behaviour.

The extension was requested by Suffolk Constabulary after data indicated that there had been 385 alcohol-related incidents in Ipswich for the two years up to June 2020.

Labour portfolio holder for community protection, Alasdair Ross, said: “This does not mean that you cannot drink outside.

MORE: Ipswich street drinking to be discussed

“It just means that if you are causing trouble, or causing anti-social type behaviour then the police can come and ask you to stop drinking, put your drink away and if you refuse they can take the drink off you and further sanctions can follow.

Ipswich Council opposition leader Ian Fisher said the powers were needed. Picture: IPSWICH COUNCILIpswich Council opposition leader Ian Fisher said the powers were needed. Picture: IPSWICH COUNCIL

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“There is a lot of talk about civil liberties, but one of the reasons why I am happy to support this is because not only are we using this from the police, we are using our other funding and housing services and our work with the homeless to make sure those who do have street drinking problems get into some sort of care, trying to rehouse them and trying to rehabilitate those people.

“The two in tandem have worked over the last few years to make sure that we have seen less street drinkers in Ipswich, not just by stopping it using this police power but by using this in conjunction with the other services the borough provides.”

PSPOs are powers dedicated to specific problems such as street drinking, dog fouling or boy racers that are brought in by local authorities and enforced by police, and aim to tackle those issues much more stringently.

The street drinking PSPO was first introduced in October 2017 but needed renewing because it had reached the end of its three-year lifespan in the town.

MORE: Ipswich extends public order powers to gangs and drugs

For those who do not comply with the order or requests by police to cease, measures can escalate up to a £100 fine or referral for prosecution.

Leader of the opposition Conservative group Ian Fisher, said: “I am really happy to support this, it is something that is needed.

“These powers are excellent as long as they are enforced and it has been noted that there are areas around Ipswich at the moment with increasing reports of anti-social behaviour that is linked to drinking, and I would just like to ensure that while we grant these powers we want to make sure they are being enforced in a consistent way across the town.”


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