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Crackdown on illicit alcohol sales is cutting violence, say police

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Police and trading standards officers have vowed to continue the fight against shops and bars that sell booze to underage drinkers.

The Alcohol Harm Reduction Team was formed six months ago to work alongside licensing officers in a bid to cut alcohol harm and violence.

The team has been working clamp down on shops, pubs, bars and nightclubs that breach licensing legislations in a bid to stop the sale of alcohol to children and drunks.

Northamptonshire Police has said officers have seen a 26 per cent reduction in violent assaults in Northampton town centre, and a 23 per cent reduction across the county.

Among the premises to be targeted in the past six months are Academy, the nightclub off Gold Street which saw its licence suspended and additional conditions added, Lost, also in Northampton, which had its licence withdrawn, as well as Euro Express, in Abington Street, a shop that had its licence withdrawn.

Inspector Vaughan Clarke, who manages the Alcohol Harm Reduction Team, said: “I am delighted with the progress we have made to date in tackling violence, which is the most personal of all crime types. I am also delighted with the response from the licensed premises who have worked with us to reduce the levels of drunkenness in our town centres.

“I am particularly grateful to trading standards for the way they have worked with us to tackle the most poorly run premises in the trade, particularly those that have been prepared to sell alcohol to children as well as those involved in the illegal supply of tobacco.

“Not surprisingly, their licences have been withdrawn.”

Northamptonshire County Council cabinet member, Councillor Andre Gonzalez de Savage, said: “Our trading standards team is working closely with the police and the licensing authorities to stop illegal trading at licensed premises.

“We will continue to seek the revocation of alcohol licences where businesses engage in wider criminality or disregard the safety of children.”

 

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