Manchester scheme to curb drunken violence a success

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Alcohol-related crime, Crime

Police in Manchester hope the success of a local scheme to cut alcohol-related violence will lead to it being rolled out nationwide.The Greater...

Police in Manchester hope the success of a local scheme to cut alcohol-related violence will lead to it being rolled out nationwide.

The Greater Manchester Police initiative, "Think Safe, Drink Safe," tackles a number of issues included in the Criminal Justice and Police Bill, which the Government introduced in a bid to cut alcohol-related crime across the country.

The scheme, which is now entering its second phase, concentrates on changing the behaviour of people who drink in the city centre, rather than clamping down on licensees.

"This should not be seen as a crackdown on licensees," said Peter Burling, a spokesman for the initiative. "We're working with the local authorities, and we're talking to the licensees of local bars to see what we can do to improve the situation."

Posters and billboard advertising will be erected around the city over the next few months to help promote safe drinking in the city and encourage tourism.

Police claim the initial effects of the campaign have been to reduce violence and hope other cities will take up the initiative.

Although there are no separate statistics for alcohol-related crime, figures for last year show that Greater Manchester had the highest rate of recorded crimes in the country - 14,400 offences per 100,000 population.

This high crime rate is less than desirable for a city which is due to play host to the Commonwealth Games next year.

"We are doing what we can to make this situation better," Mr Burling said.

We only have a certain amount of time to increase security in the centre because of the Commonwealth Games in 2002."

As part of the drive towards cutting down on crime, licensees will be asked to display promotional material that includes the message "Think Safe, Drink Safe," under the "Manchester OK" branding and aims to address the following issues:

  • reducing violent alcohol-related crime in the city centre
  • influencing the perceptions of Manchester and promoting it as a safer place particularly in the run-up and duration of the Commonwealth Games
  • raising awareness of "drink-spiking", an activity that is said to be on the increase in the centre of the city
  • discouraging binge-drinking
  • encouraging people not to take bottles and glasses out onto the streets or if they do so to put them into an allocated bin.

Related topics: Legislation

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