No prosecutions for Suffolk smokers

A MONTH after a ban on smoking in public came into force not a single person in Suffolk has been prosecuted for flouting the rules.Despite more than 1,000 visits to pubs, bars and workplaces from smoking enforcement officers it appears the overwhelming majority of people have had little difficulty adjusting to the ban.

A MONTH after a ban on smoking in public came into force not a single person in Suffolk has been prosecuted for flouting the rules.

Despite more than 1,000 visits to pubs, bars and workplaces from smoking enforcement officers it appears the overwhelming majority of people have had little difficulty adjusting to the ban.

Ipswich Borough Council expects figures to show officers visited around 500 premises since July 1 with 95 per cent being fully compliant with the new legislation. Only four written warnings have so far been issued.

Environmental services manager at Ipswich Borough Council, Ann Bryant, said: “So far we are quite pleased with the results and the 95 per cent compliance rate is reassuring.

“I'm aware that some premises have had people lighting up but I know they have been doing what has been expected of them by explaining to people they are committing an offence.”

Elsewhere officers in the Suffolk Coastal area have visited 737 site visits, which includes vehicles, such as taxi firms and transport companies.

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A spokeswoman for Suffolk Coastal District Council said: “Our experience so far having inspected a variety of premises is that smokefree compliance is nearly 100pc, the main shortcoming being that some shops and premises other than licenced premises are failing to display the correct signage.

“We have responded to some complaints of alleged contraventions and where appropriate offered advice on the new legislation.”

Meanwhile Babergh District Council and Mid Suffolk District Council are also both yet to pursue a prosecution.

A spokesman for Babergh District Council said the authority has fielded three complaints from members of the public but once these had been investigated it was found there was no case to answer.

n.Do you feel the ban has worked well so far? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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