Ex-policeman faces drink-drive charge

A FORMER policeman now employed in a high-profile job that involves tackling alcohol-fuelled violence is to appear in court on a drink-drive charge.Ian Abery, the first anti-social behaviour co-ordinator employed by Suffolk Coastal District Council, has been charged with driving a motor vehicle while he is alleged to have drunk excess alcohol.

By Richard Smith

A FORMER policeman now employed in a high-profile job that involves tackling alcohol-fuelled violence is to appear in court on a drink-drive charge.

Ian Abery, the first anti-social behaviour co-ordinator employed by Suffolk Coastal District Council, has been charged with driving a motor vehicle while he is alleged to have drunk excess alcohol.

Mr Abery, 48, will appear before magistrates in Ipswich on Thursday - and the council warned yesterday that he could lose his job if he was found guilty.


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The former sergeant, who was based at Ipswich, resigned from Suffolk police in October 2001 after 18 years' service following a disciplinary hearing.

Mr Abery was given his current job with the Woodbridge-based district council in June last year.

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It is funded by the Home Office for two years and he works with the police, town and parish councils, voluntary organisations, the probation service and groups working with young people.

He is responsible for obtaining evidence to back up anti-social behaviour orders and he has been working on the council's strategy to combat crime and disorder in the district.

Anna Woolnough, a Suffolk police spokeswoman, said: “Ian Abery, 48, of Forester Close, Pinewood, Ipswich, has been charged with driving a motor vehicle with excess alcohol. He is due to appear in court on December 22.”

A spokesman for the district council said yesterday: ''The council was disappointed to learn that Ian Abery, its Anti-Social Behaviour Coordinator, is due to appear before magistrates on Thursday after being charged with drink-driving.

“Mr Abery has been employed by the council since June 2004 and is now on leave. Clearly, the council cannot comment further until the court case has been completed but would confirm that if Mr Abery is found guilty then he could be in breach of our disciplinary code, and that dismissal is a possible sanction for anyone found to have committed gross misconduct.''

He added: ''This council is a central member of the local Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnership and as such we fully support and actively promote the various Nightsafe campaigns that are underway to promote sensible drinking.”

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