Teamwork beats Felixstowe troublemakers

NIGHTLIFE problems on Felixstowe seafront have reduced ten-fold in the past few years as pubs, clubs and police have teamed up to beat the troublemakers.

NIGHTLIFE problems on Felixstowe seafront have reduced ten-fold in the past few years as pubs, clubs and police have teamed up to beat the troublemakers.

The Nightsafe scheme, which includes a 'banned from one bar, barred from all' policy for rowdy drinkers, has made the area safer and increased business.

Now the project is being rolled out to other parts of the resort and all premises taking part will display special plaques to show they are accredited members of the scheme and everyone entering must abide by its rules.

Owl and Pussycat licensees Gary Whitbread and Debra Blake are the first pub away from the seafront to join the project.

Ms Blake said: "We used to get troublemakers who were barred from the seafront pubs coming up here instead and we have live entertainment and karaoke and so those people were really spoiling the atmosphere we were trying to create.

"So as soon as we were able to join the scheme, we thought we would get on board. No-one wants aggro in their pub - I don't want to be constantly on guard all the time watching what is kicking off.

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"I want to enjoy the evening with my customers."

Mark Moseley, chairman of Felixstowe Nightsafe and owner of the Bandbox nightclub, said the success of Nightsafe had been a team effort with all the landlords and club owners determined to see it succeed and work with the police and the community.

"I think the situation on the seafront concerning nuisance and trouble has improved ten-fold - it really is so much better now," he said.

"With the licensing of doormen, the landlords all working together on the Nightsafe project and being linked so we can pass on information, the information police have provided us about potential problems and troublemakers, we have created a much safer place and better atmosphere."

Under the scheme, landlords check for proof of identity for all young people entering their premises, and sign a code of good practice.

People causing trouble face being barred from all the pubs in the scheme.

Licensing officer Pc Richard Durrant said: "We have about 25 people at the moment serving bans from three to 18 months.

"They find it really disrupts their social life and they cannot be with their mates - people come and plead with us to let them back in and when they have served their bans we find most behave and do not re-offend."

N Have you noticed a difference since Nightsafe got underway? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.