The chief constable of Northamptonshire Police and the county’s commissioner have united in their praise for a new Government crackdown on alcohol fuelled crime.
The government says it intends to bring in measures which will crack down on irresponsible drinking, including the introduction of a minimum price for alcohol sales.
New commissioner, Adam Simmonds, said: “I strongly welcome these ideas, which will bring tougher action to stamp out drunkenness and violence in Northamptonshire’s town centres.
“I recently spent an entire weekend night shift with police in Northampton town centre. I was frankly shocked by the levels of drunkenness, violence and anti-social behaviour with which the police had to deal.
“I saw people so drunk they could not stand, people coming out of bars and urinating in the streets, and countless fights. In many cases it is clear that people are drunk on cheap and freely available alcohol bought from shops before they even arrive in town.”
He added: “I very much welcome stronger measures to deal with this problem. Our police work 24 hours a day, seven days a week. I also want to see the courts and probation working weekends to dispense swift justice to offenders quickly and effectively.”
Chief Constable Adrian Lee added: “Since the licensing laws changed, we have seen a change in drinking culture in our town centre, with people drinking at home, coming out later and staying out later.
“The impact of this on local policing has been huge and we have to have more police on duty for longer hours and in greater numbers over the weekends to deal with the demand.
“We have recently trialled weekend partnership working which has targeted irresponsible drinkers in our town centres, and those arrested for their drunken behaviour have been referred to drug and alcohol specialists.
“We know that those who turn up on our town centres already drunk or engage in irresponsible drinking when in town, leave themselves far more likely to become a victim of crime and we spend a lot of effort warning people of the risks they are taking.”