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Drinkers heed warning

PUBLISHED: 12:15 08 January 2010 | UPDATED: 15:51 06 July 2010

MORE than ten months since police powers to reduce drunkenness were unveiled in Lowestoft the warning message to drinkers seems to be getting through.

No arrests have been made since the new Designated Public Places Order (DPPO) was launched in the Harbour wards in central Lowestoft, Kirkley and parts of Whitton and Oulton Broad, including Nicholas Everitt Park.

MORE than ten months since police powers to reduce drunkenness were unveiled in Lowestoft the warning message to drinkers seems to be getting through.

No arrests have been made since the new Designated Public Places Order (DPPO) was launched in the Harbour wards in central Lowestoft, Kirkley and parts of Whitton and Oulton Broad, including Nicholas Everitt Park.

However, alcohol related incidents have risen year on year. New figures released by Suffolk Constabulary show that between April 22 and September 23 last year (2009) 391 alcohol related incidents were recorded, of which eight were for street drinking.

This is up by 72 incidents - an increase of almost 23pc - as there were 319 alcohol related incidents between the same period in 2008, with 33 of these for street drinking.

The DPPO was launched across Lowestoft on March 1 last year (2009) as a series of signs warning that officers have powers of arrest and the authority to seize alcohol from troublemakers in public places were unveiled in central Lowestoft, Kirkley and parts of Whitton and Oulton Broad.

This Order was unveiled after Waveney District Council, Suffolk police and the Community Safety Partnership joined forces to “reduce crime and anti-social behaviour in Waveney” and “improve community safety”.

Reviewing the first six months of the DPPO after implementation, a report was given to the council's community safety, health and well-being scrutiny committee recently.

And it stated: “Whilst there is no real evidence to prove that the Order has had an effect on the fall in street drinking data, the police confirm that the Order acts as another tool-in-the-tool box of options to be utilised and would not like to see it removed.”

With the new powers likely to be reviewed again in the future, the DPPO could be extended to other parts of Lowestoft and across Waveney, but councillors recommended that for now the existing Order would remain in force for the foreseeable future for the wards of Harbour and Kirkley and parts of Oulton Broad as initially designated.

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