Booze warning for revellers

IAN CLARKE Festive revellers have been warned they could be hit with a fine of up to £500 if they breach an alcohol ban in parts of Dereham.The town has a range of public areas where booze cannot be drunk.

IAN CLARKE

Festive revellers have been warned they could be hit with a fine of up to £500 if they breach an alcohol ban in parts of Dereham.

The town has a range of public areas where booze cannot be drunk.

New signs and thousands of promotional beer mats have been produced, to mark the launch of an awareness campaign by Breckland Council, Dereham Police Safer Neighbourhood Team and other members of the town's Local Area Action Group to highlight the zones and the crackdown on anti-social behaviour.

Breckland Cabinet member Lady Kay Fisher said: “Reducing violent crime and criminal damage is a key priority in our drive towards the creation of a safe and healthy environment. We hope this latest campaign will promote law abiding, responsible behaviour over the festive period and beyond.”

She said people breaking the alcohol bans face arrest and a maximum fine of £500.

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Separate laws give police powers to seize alcohol from under 18s whether they are drinking or not.

Chief Insp Carl Edwards, Norfolk Police, said: “Dereham is a safe place to live, work and go out but like all towns it has its problems. Many of the issues relating to damage, anti social behaviour and assaults in Dereham town centre are linked to alcohol.

“The ban on drinking in public places tackles yobbish behaviour without targeting the majority of law abiding social drinkers. We want to encourage the responsible enjoyment of alcohol in well run local pubs, clubs and restaurants. Our aim is for a town centre that is safe and enjoyable that everybody can be proud of.”

Dereham's Local Area Action Group was formed about a year ago and receives Government funding to promote safer, stronger communities.