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Drunks targeted in crackdown

PUBLISHED: 11:09 17 July 2008 | UPDATED: 20:53 05 July 2010

Drunks who cause trouble on Lowestoft's streets are set to be targeted in a crack down, which could see them banned from drinking in public areas.

Plans to introduce tough measures to counter alcohol-fuelled disorder around the town centre, seafront and in Oulton Broad have been revealed by Waveney District Council and Suffolk Police.

Drunks who cause trouble on Lowestoft's streets are set to be targeted in a crack down, which could see them banned from drinking in public areas.

Plans to introduce tough measures to counter alcohol-fuelled disorder around the town centre, seafront and in Oulton Broad have been revealed by Waveney District Council and Suffolk Police.

Local authorities can give police the power to restrict drinking in public places and Waveney is poised to launch a wide-ranging consultation exercise before making a final decision.

Where public areas are made the subject of a Designated Public Place Order (DPPO), police can confiscate alcohol from people responsible for causing trouble. Failure to comply is a criminal offence and can lead to a fine of up to £500.

Police figures for 2007-08 show the worst areas for alcohol-related violence in Lowestoft were in the Harbour and Kirkley wards, which cover the town centre and seafront.

Out of a total of 496 incidents across Lowestoft, 77pc happened in Harbour and Kirkley, with a further 5pc taking place in Oulton Broad.

Members of the district council's community safety, health and well-being scrutiny sub-committee will be asked to vote in favour of starting and public consultation exercise when they meet next week.

A report to councillors says: “Alcohol-related and anti-social behaviour is experienced by many members of the local community and takes many different forms of levels and severity.

“There has been, over the past few years, a problem with groups of people gathering in public, drinking alcohol. This behaviour is not exclusive to young people and can involve large groups of adults, and has led to such behaviour as aggressive begging, fighting, verbal abuse, urinating in public, and generally causing distress to local people.”

A DPPO does not create a comprehensive ban on drinking within a specific area and does not cover pubs and other buildings which have a licence to serve alcohol.

Police spokesman Anne-Marie Breach said: “It is recognised that a DPPO is not a stand-alone solution to the problem of street drinking and associated offending, but would be a valuable tool to be used in conjunction with existing police powers.

“A DPPO would send a clear and consistent message that irresponsible street drinking and offending linked to alcohol consumption in public is not acceptable and will not be tolerated in the town.”

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