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Crackdown on drunken louts.

Drunken thugs could be banned from city centres under a tough Labour crackdown.

Courts are to get new powers to impose "exclusion orders" when sentencing louts convicted of alcohol-fuelled violence.

They could be tailored to ban offenders from pubs or clubs which are flashpoints for trouble.

And in the worst cases, boozers could be banned from town centres on Friday or Saturday nights and even during the week.

The exclusion orders and curfews would be backed by jail terms for those who defy the courts.

Home Secretary Jack Straw sees the punishments as part of his drive against drunken disorder which turns town and city centres into battle zones at weekends.

He believes urgent action is needed to reclaim these areas for ordinary people.

A Home Office insider said: "Many people are put off going into town on Fridays and Saturdays.

"They fear they could be the victim of an unprovoked attack from some drunken lout.

"There is a climate of aggression, fuelled by drink, around pubs, clubs and city centre streets.

"We are determined there will be no no-go areas. And we believe public exclusion orders are a new weapon which can help this campaign."

Official statistics show the scale of the problem of drink-fuelled violence facing police and the courts.

Last year, there were 1.5million non-domestic assaults where the attacker was under the influence of drink.
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Author:Bradshaw, David
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jul 28, 1997
Words:229
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