New project tackles street drinking
A NEW project has been launched to tackle street drinking in Ipswich.Ipswich Borough Council and Anglia Care Trust (ACT) are to hit the road to help those blighting the town centre by loitering and drinking on the streets.
A NEW project has been launched to tackle street drinking in Ipswich.
Ipswich Borough Council and Anglia Care Trust (ACT) are to hit the road to help those blighting the town centre by loitering and drinking on the streets.
Tibbs Pinter, substance misuse officer for Ipswich, said: “Most street drinkers have complex needs and basically their street drinking tends to be one facet of what is a chaotic lifestyle.
“We are linking in with Ipswich Borough Homes, benefits teams and internal departments and sharing appropriate information to see how we can address their needs.”
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Part-time staff from ACT have approached regular street drinkers, to research their wants and needs.
Mr Pinter added: “This is about taking the service to them (the street drinkers) rather than giving them a date and appointment time and expecting them to cross town and make the appointment.
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“We have a post that is flexible and can find them and that is what the need is in these circumstances.”
Research has revealed that there are a core group of 20-30 drinkers, aged 30-40 who frequent benches in the town centre.
The majority of problems associated with the group are environmental and include urinating and defecating in the street and dumping cans, bottles and other rubbish.
Other issues have included being in charge of children while drunk, fighting and being in possession of weapons.
Mr Pinter added: “Often the core group don't do anything wrong apart from appear to be unkempt and probably a bit unruly.
“Sometimes the fact that they congregate and drink means they attract another group around them.
“These can be a group less used to drink and their behaviour is consequently worse.”
Mr Pinter said regular street drinkers had already responded positively to the project with the six initial places being filled almost immediately.
He said the project would hopefully take place over three years if funding could be secured.
Are you a reformed street drinker? Do you get annoyed with people drinking in the street? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.