PLANS to introduce an “essential weapon” against street drinking in Hadleigh need to be stepped up.
That is the view of councillors and police in the town, who claim efforts to bring in alcohol control zones are taking too long to process by Babergh District Council.
Brian Riley, Hadleigh district councillor, said he was growing frustrated with attempts to implement a Designated Public Places Order (DPPO), which gives police officers powers to confiscate alcohol from people drinking in public places to prevent alcohol-related crime and anti-social behaviour.
“This has been dragging on for years and as we are now in the summer, street drinking is more common,” Mr Riley said.
“The DPPO is an essential weapon in controlling alcohol-induced anti-social behaviour, but every time we get close to introducing it, it disappears.
“Incidents of people drinking in the street and being anti-social are not a large problem, but Hadleigh is not a large place. It is a nice town and we should not have this sort of problem.”
It has been two years since proposals to bring in the order were first floated and Hadleigh Town Council gave the plans their support earlier this year.
“It is an issue that should not be allowed to drag on,” Mr Riley added.
Penny Cook, town councillor, agreed that the introduction of the order had been a “slow process” but said some of the delay had been caused by the wait to see if Sudbury was also keen to bring in the powers – an option which Sudbury Town Council ruled out.
“It is an excellent idea, but we are just waiting for Babergh,” Mrs Cook said.
Pc Matt Paisley, who lives and works in Hadleigh, said he had canvassed the opinion of residents and pubs in the town and strongly believed the DPPO was needed.
“The main concern is the high street and roads coming off it, but the order would cover the whole town,” he said.
“The sooner it comes in the easier it makes our lives.”
A spokesman for Babergh District Council said the plan for the order should be complete within a month.
It will then go out for a 28-day public consultation, before being decided on by the full council.