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Tough action against Diss drinkers

PUBLISHED: 10:34 16 October 2008 | UPDATED: 10:44 12 July 2010

An alcohol restricted zone looks set to be introduced at Diss in a bid to curb anti-social behaviour.

The initiative follows two public meetings in the town at the end of 2006 when there was general consensus that the consumption of alcohol was a contributory factor to the problem.

An alcohol restricted zone looks set to be introduced at Diss in a bid to curb anti-social behaviour.

The initiative follows two public meetings in the town at the end of 2006 when there was general consensus that the consumption of alcohol was a contributory factor to the problem. A survey of 1,300 local householders, carried out in 2007, showed that 51 per cent felt they lived in an area where there was drunken and rowdy behaviour.

In June this year, South Norfolk Council's cabinet agreed to go out to public consultation on proposals for an alcohol controlled zone covering the town centre, the Mere and park, the bus station, St Mary's Church, Diss High School, Tesco, Morrisons, Fair Green and the towns medical centre.

A total of 57 responses were received, with 55 in favour of the scheme. No business opposed the introduction of the zone, and support was received from Diss Health Centre, the cricket club and church which have been targeted by vandals.

Norfolk police have also welcomed the move.

Superintendent Paul Sanford, who is responsible for the south Norfolk area, said: “Alcohol is frequently the driver behind the disorder which occurs in towns such as Diss. This initiative will allow officers to take robust action against the who drink irresponsibly and make the town even safer for the majority who behave appropriately.”

South Norfolk cabinet members have been recommended to make a designated public places order, establishing the new Diss zone, at their meeting on Monday.

It would not be an offence to drink alcohol in the area unless instructed to stop by a police officer, or police community support officer, who will have the powers to take and dispose of the drink. Those who fail to comply risk a £50 fixed penalty notice, or may be arrested and taken to court where a fine of £500 can be imposed.

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