Public booze ban moves closer
A PUBLIC drinking ban in parts of a Suffolk town has moved a step closer.Stowmarket Town Council last night agreed to further investigate implementing a ban in Ipswich Street and at the recreation ground to crack down on anti-social behaviour.
By John Howard
A PUBLIC drinking ban in parts of a Suffolk town has moved a step closer.
Stowmarket Town Council last night agreed to further investigate implementing a ban in Ipswich Street and at the recreation ground to crack down on anti-social behaviour.
Town mayor Gordon Paton said: "There has been a gradual relaxing of restrictions on drinking and crime and vandalism has risen in the town.
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"We must try and reclaim our town centre for our citizens, so they can enjoy it without being intimated.''
Frank Whittle, town and district councillor, believed banning orders had been successful elsewhere in the country and it could make a big difference in Stowmarket.
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But town councillor Keith Myers-Hewitt told last night's meeting that police already had enough power to deal with under age drinking and said the recreation ground should be for people to bring wine and picnics.
Mid Suffolk sector commander Inspector Julian Blazeby has supported a ban on alcohol not only on Ipswich Street and the recreation ground, but in other town centre areas.
He told the meeting: "Hopefully it will make Stowmarket a safer place for visitors, those who work here, live here and I can't see there are any negatives. I am willing to work with the community to do our best job to enforce it.''
Emily Adie, deputy town clerk, said: "The district council is the authority that can apply for the order, not the town council.
"The police have to provide substantial evidence of crimes related to drink within the designated areas to justify the need for the order. This order can only be applied to designated areas, and not the town centre in general.''
Town councillors voted to investigate the possibility of applying for a designated order to restrict public drinking in certain areas and gain further views from the police and the Mid Suffolk Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnership.
The plans follow suggestions by Woodbridge Town Council at the beginning of the month to make designated areas in the town alcohol-free.