Police plan crackdown on troublemakers

PEOPLE thought to be troublemakers could be ordered to leave town centres under a new police scheme being launched this week.

Laurence Cawley

PEOPLE thought to be troublemakers could be ordered to leave town centres under a new police scheme being launched this week.

From Friday, police in west Suffolk will be issuing “direction to leave” notices to people they think might cause “alcohol related violence”.

The idea behind the new powers, which come from Section 27 of the Violent Crime Reduction Act 2006, is to prevent people misbehaving during nights out.


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Police say it is a “zero tolerance power” and no actual offence needs to have been committed.

A person can be banned from a venue or even the whole town for up to 48 hours, and if they refuse to leave the area or return during this time they can be arrested.

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Western area operations manager Supt David Skevington, said: “I am concerned that the levels of violence in a public place related to alcohol or drug consumption have risen in some parts of West Suffolk, and whilst in other areas there has been a reduction, this could still be improved upon.

“We have put additional officers into hotspot areas, to offer reassurance and to issue fixed penalty notices to stop trouble escalating - but now we have another tactic to allow officers to get tough on the minority of people who behave anti-socially and could go on to commit violent crime.”

Insp Sally Gallant said: “We want to use these powers to nip trouble in the bud early in the evening. The aim is not to spoil people's night out, but if anyone comes to any of West Suffolk's town centres intent on causing trouble they will be asked to leave and not to return for up to 48 hours. “

The police also have the power to photograph anyone issued with a Section 27 notice.

Insp Gallant said: “Police across the west will be using these powers to get rid of trouble makers from town centres and make them safer for law-abiding people.”

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