Enough is enough over booze crime

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Police are saying enough is enough as alcohol-fuelled crime and disorder soars to cost every Northamptonshire household £700.

Chief Inspector Helen Pritchett said the figure was reached taking into account costs incurred from policing, ongoing health issues, criminal justice and loss of earnings.

Violent crime in the county, the majority of which police say can be attributed to the influence of alcohol, is up five per cent on last year. The force has launched an ‘alcohol responsible’ campaign.

Chief Inspector Pritchett, head of community safety for the force, said the cost of putting police officers on town centre streets in Northamptonshire during weekend evenings amounts to almost £1.5m a year.

She said: “We have to invest a vast amount of policing resource into dealing with alcohol-related crime and disorder in our town centres, a huge investment at a time when the money available to police forces is being cut. I have to question whether this is the best use of our resources and we are certainly working hard to reduce this problem and make our town centres safer and more pleasant places to visit.”

She added: “We are governed by legislation in terms of what we can do to bring those who are drunk and disorderly to book but I want to make sure we use fixed penalty notices, penalty notices for disorder, dispersal orders, Section 27 notices and even anti-social behaviour orders to the best possible effect.”

Ali MacLeod, licensee at The Gloucester pub in Wellingborough and a founder and former chairman of the Pubwatch scheme in the town, welcomed the action. Mr MacLeod said things had improved in the town centre. He said: “I think anywhere that serves alcohol will at some point have some sort of alcohol-related violence. The police are now more present for people to see.”