Resort considers anti-drink options

RESIDENTS' views are being sought on proposed measures to deal with large groups of people gathering in Felixstowe's parks and seafront day and night to drink.

RESIDENTS' views are being sought on proposed measures to deal with large groups of people gathering in Felixstowe's parks and seafront day and night to drink.

If agreed, large areas of the resort will be designated as places where police can use new powers to seize alcohol if people are causing a disturbance or problems.

Similar initiatives are under way in Woodbridge and Leiston as part of measures to deal with anti-social behaviour with fines for offenders of up to £500.

Suffolk Coastal District Council has now formally advertised its proposals to make an order under the Criminal Justice and Police Act and people have until February 3 to comment.

Head of legal and democratic services Hilary Slater said after that date the council would make a final decision, taking into account any views received.

In Felixstowe, between April 2004 and March 2005, there were 361 violent offences in a public place and 53 on licensed premises, of which 240 were alcohol-related.

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Suffolk Coastal's anti-social behaviour officer and senior councillors have worked closely with the police on the project.

They found there had been “numerous occasions” when there had been large gatherings of people consuming alcohol, in the parks and open spaces in the centre of the town at evenings and weekends, which resulted in many members of the public being afraid to use the facilities.

The aim was to make the town centre and seafront a more friendly and welcoming place and improve the quality of life for residents and visitors.

The order would not prevent open-air drinking, but enable police officers to step in to remove drinkers from an area and confiscate alcohol if people were behaving in an anti-social manner.

n Hamilton Road from Bent Hill to St Andrew's Road, including The Triangle

n Gardens, prom and seafront from Orford Road to Cobbold's Point, including Sea Road, Undercliff Road West and East, and Pier Bight

n The new skateboard park when and wherever it is built

n All weather surface to be built at Orwell High School

n Felixstowe Cemetery

n Walton High Street

n Brackenbury Sports Centre

n Undercliff Road West between Ordnance and leisure centre, plus Snow Hill Steps

n All parks, public open spaces and car parks

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