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Police stand firm in war on drunks
TOWN centre police have defended their attempts to deal with drunken behaviour in Colchester.
Officers have warned they will send home any people who have been drinking at home before hitting the town – known as pre-loading.
Sgt Jon Butcher, who has been tasked with improving the town centre at night, believes Colchester and other towns of a similar size, have a problematic drinking culture.
He believes residents have had enough of drunken yobs spoiling the town for everyone.
As a result, officers have started to patrol at 8pm instead of 10pm to nip problems in the bud.
Sgt Butcher said: “Preloading has a big impact on the town centre and is not an easy thing to solve. We are determined to deal with it early and focus on prevention and intervention at an early stage.
“The night time economy is for everyone to enjoy. We want a vibrant town centre enjoyed by everyone and as part of that will be watching the people coming into town.
“If they have had too much they will be sent away again.”
Police have the power to issue dispersal orders under the Violent Crime Reduction Act. When issued to an individual they must leave and area for up to 48 hours and the police can enforce how and when they go.
Sgt Butcher said: “They do make a difference. Recently a group of men from Maldon came to town. One got out of the taxi and urinated in the street and they had clearly had too much so they were put back in the taxi and sent right back.”
He said officers were working with licensees to identify problems early so everyone benefits especially with summer events and the improved weather likely to lead to busy bars this summer.