Village tackles drink problem

A VILLAGE could take a pioneering approach in Suffolk to the age-old problem of people drinking alcohol in the street.Wickham Market parish council, near Woodbridge, has been taking advice from the district council and the police on a new law designed to stop anti-social behaviour arising from drunken behaviour.

A VILLAGE could take a pioneering approach in Suffolk to the age-old problem of people drinking alcohol in the street.

Wickham Market parish council, near Woodbridge, has been taking advice from the district council and the police on a new law designed to stop anti-social behaviour arising from drunken behaviour.

Last year the Government introduced The Local Authority (Alcohol Consumption in Designated Public Places) Regulation and Wickham Market has been undertaking research so that it could apply quickly for an alcohol ban in the open-air if problems arose.

In recent years people have congregated on The Hill, the central point of the village, to drink but the problem appears to have eased recently. Scott Bentley, a district council management and support officer, has prepared a report for the council's Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnership on the issues.

This report will be discussed in January. Mr Bentley said: ''It is a very contained and specific problem mainly on The Hill, around the bus stop, with people drinking there. It is a mixture of anti-social behaviour adding to people's fear of crime, and no doubt there are elements of criminal damage related to excessive drinking.''

Mr Bentley added the drinking occurred at any time of the day and by people of all ages. In Felixstowe there have been calls for an alcohol ban around the seafront where the centre of night life is and this could be considered along with a package of measures to curb late-night bad behaviour.

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In Trimley parish councillors requested an alcohol ban to curb trouble caused by groups of people gathered at the Faulkeners Way shops. This has been rejected by the district council and other measures have been used.

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