Alcohol confiscated from street drinkers in bid to reduce anti-social behaviour
PUBLISHED: 19:00 02 October 2020 | UPDATED: 19:00 02 October 2020
Efforts to tackle anti-social behaviour including street drinking in Bury St Edmunds town centre seem to be working - but police say they are still looking for long-term solutions.
Anti-social behaviour caused by street drinkers and beggars has been an ongoing problem that the police, West Suffolk Council and Business Improvement District (BID) group, as well as other agencies, have been working to tackle.
MORE: Work is going on behind the scenes to tackle street drinking in Bury St Edmunds
Mark Cordell, chief executive of the BID, Ourburystedmunds, said: “Since mid-September I have noticed that the level of anti-social behaviour in the town centre has reduced considerably.
“The presence of street drinkers has also reduced and I don’t think these two issues are unconnected. I am aware of considerable activity from both the police and West Suffolk Council that has led to this very pleasant change which is greatly appreciated by myself, BID members and I am sure the public too.
“I do hope that this improvement in affairs continues and contributes to people feeling the town centre is a safe place to visit.”
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Suffolk Constabulary’s Kestrel team - to fight prolific crime in the county - has been in the town centre confiscating alcohol from street drinkers.
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Inspector Matt Paisley, of Suffolk police, said: “Reducing street drinking in the town centre has been a priority for us and we have adopted a partnership approach to deal with the issue, involving West Suffolk Council, Bury BID and Probation Services.
“Officers from the Safer Neighbour Team (SNT) have been supported by officers from the Kestrel Team who are the Neighbourhood Crime Proactive Team, helping to address important community issues.
“Anti-social behaviour and street drinking remains a local priority for us and we will continue to engage with the public and look to find long term solutions.”
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A town centre resident, who asked not to be named, felt the Covid situation had “cancelled out the street drinkers”.
“It’s got better, but I don’t think you have to look too far. I think it’s more to do with the current epidemic that it seems better,” he said.
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A West Suffolk Council spokesman said: “We have, alongside Suffolk police, been working to address the different issues and causes behind street drinking and anti-social behaviour in the town centre.
“We think it would be premature to suggest these issues have completely gone away and we are continuing our efforts to reduce anti-social behaviour across the town.”
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