Northamptonshire police to work with pubs to reduce alcohol-related crime

By Ellie Bothwell

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Alcohol-related crime Police

The new team will focus on policing the night-time economy
The new team will focus on policing the night-time economy
Northamptonshire police have launched a specialised team to work alongside licensees in a bid to tackle alcohol-related crime.

A new team made up of six constables and led by one sergeant will enhance the policing of the night-time economy on Friday and Saturday evenings and assist in the force’s aim of reducing violence in the county by 40% this term.

Inspector Vaughan Clarke said that night-time policing has been “rather lax” over the past two years and the new team, which was launched on Monday, will be “more robust”, particularly with licensees.

The officers will take part in plain-clothed operations within licensed premises to target a number of problems relating to alcohol-related crime including the sale of alcohol to under-age people and people who are already drunk.

“Having a licence is a privilege to earn and we want to show that irresponsible behaviour will not be tolerated,” Clarke said. “People are extremely vulnerable when they are drunk and that fuels violence.

“The overarching issue is for pubs to stop serving alcohol to people that are already drunk. If you speak to any pub in Northampton they will say they don’t but at 4am on Sunday, the streets are littered with people absolutely plastered who have only come from licensed premises.

“We want to work with pubs to improve standards,” he added. “We will be holding one-to-one meetings at premises where we perceive problems.”

The team are already working with two bars in Northampton where there are often assaults to help the premises manage their queues.

Officers will also complete test sales throughout the county to check whether premises are abiding by the law and prosecute expulsion notices to those who are found to be irresponsible.

Clarke confirmed the force will consider enforcing Drink Banning Orders (DBOs), which can ban offenders from purchasing alcohol and entering licenced and off-licence premises in a certain area at specified times if they are convicted of alcohol-related crime. However, the force have yet to ask for the order to be used, despite the fact it has been available for the past two years.

The new team is one of 33 different initiatives suggested by the police force to reduce violence in the county. Clarke said it was confirmed before an early-morning restriction order (EMRO) was rejected by Northampton Council a fortnight ago, but the feedback given to licensed premised after the EMRO consultation was a much-needed wake-up call to the trade “who recognised they had become too lax”.

“The industry has realised it is time to put the genie back in the bottle and become more responsible,” he said.

Clarke added that the initiative has generated interest from several police forces across the country.

Related topics Licensing law

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