Police warn fans over trouble during World Cup

IPSWICH: A senior police officer today warned boozed-up troublemakers they could face the red card from the town centre during the World Cup.

The ultimatum came as Suffolk Constabulary figures revealed more than 200 drunken yobs had been kicked out of parts of Ipswich in 12 months.

Their exile has been predominantly caused by alcohol-fuelled anti-social behaviour.

Police issued 204 exclusions notices between April 1 last year and March 31.

The penalty effectively allows officers to temporarily ban someone from an area of the town when they have become a nuisance. They do not necessarily have had to commit a crime.

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Failure to comply with the ‘Section 27 notices’ handed out so far has led to just under 70 arrests.

With the World Cup looming, Ipswich’s pubs and clubs are expected to be heaving, particularly for the England games.

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Inspector Becky Kidd-Stanton said: “We encourage people to enjoy a safe night out in Ipswich, make sure they don’t drink to excess, and get home safely without having committed any criminal offences.

“It is particularly important in the run-up to the World Cup.

“We want them to behave or they will be told to leave the town centre while their friends continue their night out without them.”

Most of the sanctions so far have been handed out in Ipswich town centre, although a few have been issued in outlying areas.

Insp Kidd-Stanton said: “People are mainly very responsive if they are asked to calm down.

“However, the notices go out as a preventative measure under the Violent Crime Reduction Act 2006.

“If anyone is acting in an anti-social manner and it is believed it could be alcohol-related, they are given a notice to leave the town centre prior to committing any offences.

“The notices have been effective for many of the people they have been issued to. They are asked to leave Ipswich town centre for a period of 48 hours and are given a map (of the area they are banned from).

“Approximately one in three people failed to comply with the notice and have been arrested.”

The oldest person to have received a Section 27 notice was aged fifty-one. Two 15-year-olds were the youngest, with one getting a notice in Ulster Avenue and the other in Tavern Street.

Since January, 72 of the sanctions have been issued with 28 of these leading to arrests.

n Do you think alcohol is a curse or blessing on our society? E-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk or write to Star Letters, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN.

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