Weapons collection at nightclub

REVELLERS are today being offered the chance to hand over their weapons and drugs with no questions asked as part of a new crackdown on alcohol-related crime.

REVELLERS are today being offered the chance to hand over their weapons and drugs with no questions asked as part of a new crackdown on alcohol-related crime.

The Bandbox nightclub at Felixstowe now has a special green amnesty bin for clubbers to deposit the items before entering.

Police hope it will reduce drink-related violence and increase the safety of clubbing as part of Suffolk police's Operation Nightsafe campaign, which has been pioneered at the resort with a series of initiatives.

Door staff inside the premises will then conduct random searches of people and anyone in possession of illegal drugs or offensive weapons will be liable to arrest and prosecution.

Felixstowe police commander Inspector Neal Atwell said: "This is a good opportunity for us to make Felixstowe safer.

"We know there are drugs and weapons out there, despite our presence and ongoing work to tackle them, and anything which can help take them out of circulation has benefits for everyone in the local community.

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"We have a close working relationship with the BandBox and are pleased they are supporting this new initiative, which is all part of our Nightsafe campaign to reduce public place violent crime."

Licensed premises are traditionally used by drug dealers and research shows these offenders often possess weapons, although the possession of weapons is not limited to just drug suppliers.

Police officers working in conjunction with nightclub owners and managers will construct a drug policy for the premises including procedures to cover searches, confiscation of illegal items, and police involvement.

Posters will be displayed to let visitors know the drugs and weapons amnesty is in force and any person approached for a search that refuses could be denied entry to the venue.

The amnesty bins will be emptied regularly, with drugs being identified to monitor trends and then both types of items being destroyed.

What do you think of the amnesty bins idea - do you think clubbers will be honest enough to hand-over their drugs and weapons? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk

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