Town to bring in booze ban

TIME is being called on alcohol-fuelled anti-social behaviour in a Suffolk town.

Mark Lord

TIME is being called on alcohol-fuelled anti-social behaviour in a Suffolk town.

Saxmundham Town Council is getting tough with anyone causing a nuisance in public places and a ban on drinking alcohol in some areas of the town will be introduced later this month.

Councillors have asked Suffolk Coastal District Council to designate clearly-signed areas where drinking alcohol in public will be banned. The order was officially approved last Thursday by a meeting of Suffolk Coastal's full council.

A spokesman for the district council said: “The next part of the process is that the orders have to be officially advertised again and the signs then put in place - which will be during the next few weeks and should therefore be this summer as scheduled.”

Once the signage for the designated areas is in place then the order will come into force.

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The new powers will give the police the ability to confiscate alcohol from anybody within the alcohol-free zones. In the designated areas the police will have the power to require someone whose behaviour is deemed to be anti-social to stop drinking the alcohol in their possession and, if requested, hand over the drink - failure to comply is an arrestable offence, with a potential fine of up to £500.

Police, town and district councillors have welcomed the ban and hope the crackdown will lead to less incidents of yobbish behaviour in the town.

Sherrie Green, Suffolk Coastal's Cabinet member for community health, said: “A substantial proportion of crime and disorder is linked to alcohol abuse and this measure will give the police additional powers to tackle the minority who act in an anti-social manner after having too much to drink. This council supports designation orders like these and partnership campaigns like Operation Nightsafe which is aimed at encouraging sensible drinking and better behaviour.”

The areas in Saxmundham and Kelsale which will be included in the ban are Church Hill from Manor Gardens, Church Road, Chantry Road, Mill Road, Rendham Road, to the junction with Brook Farm Road; and Hayward's Mews, Fromus Square, High Street, North Entrance, up to and including Lambsale Meadow, Harpers Lane, Fairfield Road, St. Johns Road, Chapel Road, Albion Street, New Cut, Station Approach, Market Place including the car park, Somerfield supermarket car park, and Street Farm Road.

Other areas include the War Memorial Playing Field and play area, the footpath between Harpers Lane and Henley Close, Henley Close, the footpath between Henley Close and Brook Farm Road, and between Fairfield Road and Henley Close.

The final zones will be Brook Farm Road between Dove Close and Ashford's Close, Carlton Park Sports and Recreation Club and Kelsale Recreation Ground.