Police to crack down on booze crime

ALCOHOL-fuelled violence will be tackled head-on over the summer by police in west Suffolk.

James Mortlock

ALCOHOL-fuelled violence will be tackled head-on over the summer by police in west Suffolk.

As part of this year's summer Staysafe campaign officers will be working to stamp out violence in public places and its cause, police chiefs said yesterday.

They said the operation, which starts on Friday, would build on the success of the Christmas campaign of the same name - giving the public the information and help they need to have a safe, enjoyable night out, dealing firmly with anyone who chooses to cause trouble; and also focusing on enforcing the licensing laws.

Supt Jon Brighton, who is leading the campaign in the west, said extra officers will be patrolling in hotspot locations.

“From previous operations and policing the night-time economy, we have identified key areas where additional patrols should have the most impact on alcohol-fuelled, violent crime,” he said.

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“Extra officers will be on patrol in Newmarket and Bury St Edmunds every Friday and Saturday night from this weekend until the end of August.

“They will have two main aims. Firstly, to make sure pubs, clubs and off-licenses comply with the terms of their license.

“Alcohol is an aggravating factor in the majority of violent offences my officers deal with in town centres during evenings, so by working with licensees we can limit the amount of alcohol young people purchase and consume, and deal with anyone who does sell alcohol illegally. Officers have the powers to confiscate alcohol from underage drinkers and we will seize and dispose of it, as well as taking away any being consumed in alcohol-free zones.”

Secondly, he said, officers would provide a high-visibility presence throughout the night: “They will be able to deal with any violent incidents which arise, issuing fixed penalty notices where appropriate which can stop trouble escalating further. They will also provide a reassuring presence for the majority of people who want to enjoy their nights out safely and drink responsibly.

“All town centres across the west will have local Response and Safer Neighbourhood Team officers on duty every weekend during the campaign, with extra resources available if needed.

“By working closely with our local council partners and licensees, we will be able to target the minority who commit alcohol-related offences and prevent more serious crimes from occurring, which should ensure that the majority can enjoy safe nights out throughout the summer.”

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