Public booze ban plan in Saxmundham

ALCOHOL will be banned in Saxmundham's town centre and public spaces by next summer, it has emerged.Proposals were put before the town council last month by district councillor Marion Andrews to tackle anti-social behaviour.

ALCOHOL will be banned in Saxmundham's town centre and public spaces by next summer, it has emerged.

Proposals were put before the town council last month by district councillor Marion Andrews to tackle anti-social behaviour.

Town councillors have now unanimously backed the proposals and set up a task force to identify areas within the town which will need to be included in the banning order.

The zones will be established by the councillors working in conjunction with Suffolk Coastal District Council's community safety officer Guy Richardson.

The new powers will give the police the ability to confiscate alcohol from anybody within the alcohol-free zones.

Police and town councillors hope the crackdown will lead to less yobbish behaviour.

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Speaking at Monday's council meeting, Inspector Chris Lucas said Saxmundham had seen an increase in criminal damage and anti-social behaviour compared to the same time last year.

“It is getting worse - we have more reports of these types of crimes,” he said.

However, some councillors were concerned as to how affective the ban would be.

“There are alcohol laws in place already which are not being enforced,” said Cllr Glynn Moye.

Insp Lucas said it could sometimes be difficult for officers to confiscate alcohol from groups of youths as some are over 18 and claim the drink is theirs.

“The ban would mean officers could confiscate the alcohol,” he added.

Mr Richardson added that once the zones were in place relevant signs would be put up and information about the ban would be available from the town council, and this would make it easier for residents to report problems.

The ban is expected to take between six and eight months to bring into force.

Anyone wishing to highlight a particular problem should contact Saxmundham Town Council on 01728 604595 or email townclerk@saxmundham.suffolk.gov.uk