Crimes at pubs and clubs in Ipswich fall by almost 30% in two years as community leaders praise schemes to end late-night alcohol fuelled violence

The number of police-recorded offences at clubs and pubs in Ipswich fell from 694 in 2011/12 to 503 in 2013/14, figures uncovered by the Star using Freedom of Information laws found.

Efforts to cut late-night alcohol-fuelled violence in Ipswich were last night praised after it emerged crimes at pubs and clubs have fallen by almost 30% in just two years.

The number of police-recorded offences at clubs and pubs in Ipswich fell from 694 in 2011/12 to 503 in 2013/14, figures uncovered using Freedom of Information laws found.

Adrian Smith, chairman of the Ipswich Bar Watch scheme and landlord of the Dove Street Inn, said the research was not surprising and suggested it could improve confidence levels and boost trading figures.

He said: “There is better work between authorities and business, but the figures also reflect a downturn in trade, which has had an impact.

“But they are encouraging and incentives such as Best Bar None and Purple Flag show that the town is moving the right direction.

“I hope the figures fall even further and I hope it increases public confidence. It is certainly difficult to get people to go out drinking that at home, but all we can do is work towards improving safety.

“Deregulation of licensing has also changed culturally the way the town operations but we can’t be complacent – there is still more work to do.” The figures showed during there have still been 3,032 arrests in the last three financial years, with those aged between 20 and 25 the main culprits (447 arrests). But Ipswich MP Ben Gummer said the figures overal “vindicated” police efforts to reduce trouble outside pubs and clubs.

“I quite regularly walk through town late in the evening after events and it is noticeable that the town feels somewhat calmer than a few years ago. “I have spent a couple of nights with police and town pastors to see what they have to put up with and it can be pretty hair-raising.

“I am glad both police and the councils have been able to use the licensing reforms which I voted for so we can be tougher on problems at premises. They mean we don’t get people pre-loading and clubs now know that can’t get away with it anymore.”

Sergeant Jo Towell, of Suffolk Constabulary’s Night Time Economy Team, said the figures were “pleasing”.

She said: “We work closely with licensees and continually monitors their conditions to ensure they are trading responsibly; such as closing on time and conducting ID checks both on the door of a premises and behind the bar.

“We also help to educate premises and their staff about protecting vulnerable and intoxicated individuals to prevent them from becoming a victim and regularly issue safety advice and crime reduction campaigns on how to stay safe and protect yourself on a night out.

“The Anti-Social Behaviour Crime and Police Act allow officers to impose restrictions on both individuals and venues, so individuals who persistently offend or licensees trading irresponsibly can be dealt with quickly and potential incidents avoided.

“The work that we carry out involves a number of partners who are all committed to ensuring our towns remain safe places for people to enjoy. Joint patrols between the police and the Royal Military Police have taken place since July 2014, and multi-agency schemes such as BarWatch, taxi-marshalling, Best Bar None and the Purple Flag allow licensees and community safety agencies to come together and promote safety and responsibility across pubs and clubs.”

Story and photograph courtesy of Ipswich Star www.ipswichstar.co.uk