SENIOR councillors have requested a meeting with magistrates’ bosses in a bid to find out why town centre drunks are being put right back on the street.

The move comes after a man, known to both council and police bosses, was arrested for being drunk and disorderly in the town centre as part of a police operation targeting antisocial behaviour.

The man, who is already the subject of a number of antisocial behaviour orders, was held overnight and presented at Colchester Magistrates’ Court the next day.

But it is understood magistrates handed the man a conditional discharge, which meant he was back on the street drinking within 24 hours of his arrest.

Mike Lilley, Colchester councillor responsible for public safety, has called for help from the bench.

He said: “We have asked to arrange a meeting with magistrates because we want them to know what we are trying to accomplish in the town.

“We are working with the police and carrying out these operations to make Colchester a better place but there is very little we can do when a repeat offender such as this man is right back on the street within a day of him being arrested.”

The senior Labour member added: “We know there is an issue and we are working really hard on it but it’s a kick in the teeth when you carry out these operations and one of the people causing trouble is right back on the street doing the same thing within 24 hours.”

Mr Lilley called on magistrates to consider even low level community orders for such offenders.

He added: “A community order would be fantastic. At least then, they are in the system and have meetings to attend as part of their sentence.

“We are not saying to magistrates: ‘You have to do this or that,’ we just want them to understand what were are trying to accomplish in the town when the police put people in front of them in court.”