Manchester police went out in force last Saturday night (July 21) as part of a campaign to clamp down on drink-related crime.
Extra officers were drafted into the city centre to patrol the area and although they arrested eight people for minor offences and seized more than 60 glass bottles, Greater Manchester Police insisted that it was a friendly exercise.
Superintendent Garry Shewan said: "The City Centre Safe initiative aimed to give the public what they wanted by increasing police presence on the streets of Manchester.
"Although the evening saw eight arrests and the seizure of more than 60 bottles, my officers were greeted with praise from party-goers and barstaff for helping to make their night more enjoyable," Mr Shewan said.
The city is keen to cut alcohol-related crime and improve its image in time for the Commonwealth Games next year and this latest initiative sparks the start of the campaign's second phase which focuses on changing people's attitudes to drink rather than clamping down on the licensee. (See Manchester united - police and licensees join forces (17 July 2001)for more details)
"Over the next few months, City Centre Safe will be introducing more policing initiatives aiming to further reduce incidents of alcohol-related violence," Mr Shewan added. "Plus we will be launching a new advertising campaign incorporating the new 'Think Safe, Drink Safe,' message.
The scheme has already seen some success and crime in the city centre has been cut by 8.5 per cent over the last six months. Now in addition to cutting crime, the campaign hopes to:
- encourage more licensees to serve drinks in plastic glasses
- discourage binge drinking
- alert people to drink spiking
- promote the image of Manchester's city centre as a safe place to drink
- encourage people not to take their glasses or bottles out onto the streets
- improve transport links by ensuring the police and licensees work together