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Alcohol-free zone could be extended

PUBLISHED: 13:35 22 August 2008 | UPDATED: 21:12 07 July 2010

Ian Clarke

Police powers to stop people drinking alcohol in Thetford town centre could be extended to cover three housing estates.

Town councillors and police want the so-called designated public places order to cover areas of the Abbey, Barnham Cross and Redcastle estates, which could cost about £4000 to implement.

Police powers to stop people drinking alcohol in Thetford town centre could be extended to cover three housing estates.

Town councillors and police want the so-called designated public places order to cover areas of the Abbey, Barnham Cross and Redcastle estates, which could cost about £4000 to implement.

Under the order, officers can ask people to stop drinking and if they refuse they can have the alcohol confiscated and ultimately they can be arrested.

Breckland Council's general purposes committee will be asked to decide whether to support the request at a meeting on September 3.

Members will be recommended to give approval subject to a consultation carried out in Thetford, which could take a few months.

The specific areas which would be covered under an extended order would be the eastern part of Castle Meadow and Melford Common and the re-drawing of the boundary along Castle Street, Castle Lane, Ford Street and Nether Row, excluding the area by the river north of Mill Lane and west of Nuns Bridges.

It would also cover the area around the Abbey community centre, bounded by Canterbury Way and York Way, plus the area around the Pine Close community centre bounded by Fulmerston Road, Staniforth Road and the Charles Burrell High School and Pine Close and also the area at Redcastle estate around the Canon's Walk playground, community centre and ball park.

Full maps can be seen at Breckland Council offices.

A report to the committee says: “It is clear that having this weapon in the armoury for dealing with anti-social behaviour is useful to the police. What is less clear is the benefit to the council tax payer, given the considerable resource implications of making these orders.”

The £4000 would cover administration and signs.

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