Northants Police launch new team to tackle alcohol related crime

Alcohol Policing  :Northampton: Wootton Hall 'Alcohol Harm Reduction new team announced as part of Operation Challenge. L-r David Hedger (Trading Standards), Chief Inspector Dave Spencer, Chief Superintendent Paul Fell, Inspector Vaughan Clarke.''Monday 1st July 2013
Alcohol Policing :Northampton: Wootton Hall 'Alcohol Harm Reduction new team announced as part of Operation Challenge. L-r David Hedger (Trading Standards), Chief Inspector Dave Spencer, Chief Superintendent Paul Fell, Inspector Vaughan Clarke.''Monday 1st July 2013
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Northants Police have launched a new specialised team in the bid to tackle alcohol related crime.

Top officers in the force have said the new team is ‘rather unique’ across the county and it will ‘robustly’ tackle alcohol related crime, particularly focusing on violent crime.

Chief Inspector Dave Spencer said that he hopes the actions of the team will cause a ‘ripple’ effect and help reduce booze-fuelled crime across the county.

The alcohol harm reduction team will also consider enforcing Drink Banning Orders (DBOs) in the county, which are similar to ASBOs.

The DBOs can see people banned from purchasing alcohol and entering licenced and off-licence premiss in a certain area at specified times. Northants Police can ask magistrates to add the DBOs to sentences of criminal, whose offences are fuelled by alcohol.

Inspector Vaughan Clarke said the force have yet to ask for the orders to be used, but will consider using them to target persistent offenders whose crime are alcohol-fuelled.

The team off six officers, led by one sergeant, will join forces with Trading Standards and will also target problems related to the sale of alcohol in licenced premises and off-licences - such as the sale of alcohol to under age people and the sale of alcohol to people who are already drunk.

The team, which has been set up as part of Operation Challenge, will also complete test sales to check whether premises are abiding by the law.

Chief Insp Spencer said: “This new team launched today, we have high hopes for it. We are looking for the team to make some real in-roads around license retailing, that’s the on-trade and the off-trade.

“Responsible retailing will have a big impact on crime, disorder, and violent crime reduction and we’d like to see reductions in all those areas.”

He added: “I think this is one where it’s a small team, it’s only seven officers in total, but the impact, I think, will be far and wide and it will ripple out as we start work.

“If we show we are serious about this, we raise standards. And we look to take positive action about those traders that won’t meet the required standards, I think it will make people pick their game up.”

The team will also take part in plain-clothed operations to prevent crime related to alcohol and the mis-sale of alcohol.