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Rude awakening for town louts

PUBLISHED: 20:37 09 April 2004 | UPDATED: 04:46 02 March 2010

DRUNKEN louts in Woodbridge could be waking up to more than a hangover thanks to a new scheme being trialled by the town's police.

Under the new initiative, anyone caught causing trouble in the town could face a rude awakening on the following day – in the form of a policeman arriving on their doorstep with a court summons.

DRUNKEN louts in Woodbridge could be waking up to more than a hangover thanks to a new scheme being trialled by the town's police.

Under the new initiative, anyone caught causing trouble in the town could face a rude awakening on the following day – in the form of a policeman arriving on their doorstep with a court summons.

Arresting rowdy trouble-makers often requires several police officers, and can exacerbate problems.

But the new initiative aims to free-up police officers and cut down on time and trouble.

Instead of being arrested on the spot, troublemakers will be given a warning and officers will take down their details.

The next morning a police officer will turn-up at their house, with an official summons calling them to court.

Inspector Ben Cook, commander of the Woodbridge police sector, said: "It's much easier to deal with these people when they are sober and subdued, than when they are in the street surrounded by their mates and showing off.

"It might not be prudent to arrest them at the time because it could spark more problems than it solves and, from an officer's point of view, that hurts.

"We've got a duty to protect our public and the average person walking down the road should not have to hear the offensive, abusive language that often comes out of some of these people's mouths."

The system will be used for minor crimes such as people being drunk and disorderly, but police will continue to arrest people where there is a clear and immediate danger.

Insp Cook said it is usually a small number of the same people that are responsible for causing the trouble and this new initiative is designed to show them they will not get away with it:

He said: "It's just an alternative way of enforcing the law. Sometimes we have people acting totally inappropriately. They are out of order but we are not in a position to arrest them.

"Quite often it will be the same people causing the majority of the trouble. We know who they are and we've got to pull these people up. It will carry on unless we send them a message."

He added: "They go away thinking they've got away with it but the reality is that they haven't and they will go to court.

"We've been using this method for several weeks now and it seems to be working.

"It's a way of avoiding taking officers off the streets at a time of the day when there is a real need for them to be there."

N. What do you think of the new measures? Write to us at Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN.


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