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Alcohol zone launched in Swaffham

PUBLISHED: 11:38 18 July 2010 | UPDATED: 14:51 02 August 2010

AN alcohol enforcement zone has been introduced in the centre of Swaffham giving police more powers to crack down on drunken anti-social behaviour.

AN alcohol enforcement zone has been introduced in the centre of Swaffham giving police more powers to crack down on drunken anti-social behaviour.

A Designated Public Place (DPP) has been introduced in the town in a bid to control drink-related problems.

Although not a complete ban on drinking in public, the scheme gives police proactive powers to arrest anybody who is creating disorder - or is believed to be likely to - while under the influence of alcohol.

Officers have the power to ask a person to stop drinking and confiscate alcohol in public areas within the marked zone, even if the can or bottle is unopened.

Failure to comply with a request to hand over alcohol could result in arrest and a fine of up to £500.

Swaffham's Safer Neighbourhood Team (SNT) has worked alongside Breckland District Council and Swaffham Town Council to implement the DPP.

Insp Ady Porter, of Swaffham SNT, said: “This now gives us the power to seize alcohol from anyone who we believe may ultimately cause problems for the community and it is a valuable tool available to us to reduce crime and disorder. We have no desire to criminalise responsible members of the public and will only use this power when necessary.”

Adrian Stasiak, Breckland Council's executive member for communities, said: “The zones have received universal support from the public, licensees, councillors and retailers. They are a step in the right direction in making towns and other areas more attractive for people to come into in the evenings.”

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