Ipswich: Tougher restrictions for would-be licensees in bid to target street drinking and violence
NEW pubs, clubs and restaurants could find it more difficult to get a drinks licence if a new zone is introduced by the borough council.
The move is aimed at tackling the twin problems of street drinkers and violent behaviour from people leaving bars in the early hours of the morning.
The borough is considering introducing a “Cumulative Impact Policy” area across part or all of the town centre.
This would focus on areas that have a large number of on or off-licences.
If it is introduced it would mean that anyone seeking a new licence in the area would have to prove it would not cause harm – at present objectors have to prove that granting a licence would do harm.
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The borough’s licensing committee is to set up a panel to look at how and where the area could be introduced – it is expected to come up with some definitive proposals later this year and could be introduced early next year.
Problems associated with the “late night economy” typically show up in the early hours of the mornings, mainly at weekends.
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The most serious areas are near Cardinal Park, the Old Cattle Market area, Northgate Street, Tower Street and Norwich Road.
However the exact nature of the crimes that police are called to can vary – in Grafton Way the highest number of offences reported was assault occasioning actual bodily harm, while in Falcon Street and Dog’s Head Street the most common offence was being drunk and disorderly.
The busiest times for police in the night were between midnight and 3am.
Street drinking problems tend to be concentrated near off licences – particularly near St Matthew’s Street, Dog’s Head Street area, and in and around Upper Orwell Street.
The busiest time for problems with street drinkers is between 2pm and 6pm.
Police believe there are about 45 chronic alcoholics in the town who buy drink from off-licences and drink in the street, leading to behaviour like urinating in the street, alcoholic collapse, begging, loud swearing, and fighting among themselves.
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