A yearly report looking at the health challenges facing Northamptonshire has called for pubs, clubs and the police to make our streets safer at night, revealing that booze played a part in a quarter of all assaults in one month.
The annual health and wellbeing report by Northamptonshire County Council states that, although work is being done to make nights out safer, a lot more needs to be done.
Figures show that in February 3,462 out of the 14,660 assaults that took place were ‘alcohol related’. One-in-ten of those (11.8 per cent) took place in a pub, club or restaurant.
The crime stats and accident and emergency figures both pointed to Friday and Saturday nights - between the hours of 11pm and 5am - being the most dangerous time to be out on the streets.
Further study also revealed that 13 per cent of people felt unsafe during nights out in Northamptonshire’s towns.
Tony Hogarth’s horrific ordeal in Wellingborough Road is among a number of nightspot crimes to hit the headlines in recent weeks.
Last month the Bantam Cock had its opening hours cut after a series of fights were reported.
Among them, on April 1, a punter was stabbed in the chest and back in the early hours of the morning.
And Balloon Bar in Bridge Street has recently been forced to adopt more than 20 safety measures in order to move on troublemakers
But Police and Crime Commisioner Stephen Mold said plans were now in place to clamp down on violence in pubs – and on the way home.
He said: “Addressing alcohol-related harm is part of my Police and Crime Plan and we are currently discussing a number of initiatives. These include relaunching a revised Best Bar None scheme across the whole of the county early next year.”
This scheme, supported by the Home Office, aims to promote responsible management of pubs, clubs and other licensed premises. It is said to improve standards in the evening and night-time venues, wherever it has been implemented.
“I’m looking forward to this being rolled out fully across Northampton and the county and for large numbers of pubs, clubs and licenced premises to get involved.
"Police will be sharing more about Best Bar None next year and helping people to recognise local venues that are operating in a safe and responsible way.”
In the meantime, Mr Mold said there were also proposals for a new ‘night time guardian’ scheme to support vulnerable individuals on a night-out.
“We have a large student population in the county so we’re in talks with the university to develop strategies to manage the student night-time economy including things like a ‘walking bus’,” he added.
The health and wellbeing report, which is set to be ratified by councillors at County Hall today, Thursday, makes a number of recommendations for making nights out safer.
It calls for consideration for ‘safe havens’ and emergency triages during peak nighttime periods – a scheme proposed by the Chron’s Safe Places appeal among other thing.
It is hoped people wanting a peaceful night out will notice a difference soon.