Adam Simmonds backs government plans for minimum alcohol costs

Northamptonshire's first ever Police & Crime Commission Adam Simmonds.
Northamptonshire's first ever Police & Crime Commission Adam Simmonds.

Northamptonshire Police and Crime Commissioner Adam Simmonds has said he is welcoming government proposals which hope to cut drunkenness and violent crime.

Ministers are proposing a minimum price of 45p a unit for the sale of alcohol in England and Wales in a bid to tackle drinking related problems in the countries. The Home Office is also considering banning multi-buy promotions, such as two-for-one deals.

The Home Office have launched a 10-week consultation on the plan, claiming it will help reduce levels of ill-health and crime related to alcohol.

The proposals are set to be bought before the government today.

Mr Simmonds said that he recently spent a night with police patrolling Northampton Town Centre and he was shocked at the level of drunkenness and violence.

He added: “I strongly welcome these ideas, which will bring tougher action to stamp out drunkenness and violence in Northamptonshire’s town centres.

“I very much welcome stronger measures to deal with this problem. Our police work 24 hours a day, seven days a week. I also want to see the courts and probation working weekends to dispense swift justice to offenders quickly and effectively.

“This way drunkenness, violence and police time will all be reduced, decent people will be able to reclaim our town centres and reputable businesses will be in a better position to prosper”

“I also welcome the appointment of Northamptonshire’s Chief Constable Adrian Lee, to a national policing role on these issues. Both he and I will work to influence government on these matters.”

CC Adrian Lee said that he also strongly supported the governments proposals and he feels that it could have wide-reaching implications for policing across the country. He said that the proposal tackles the sale of alcohol and consumption and together they could be extremely powerful.

He added that he believes the change in drinking culture has had a massive affect on policing and that is the reason he is welcoming the proposals.

He said: “Since the licensing laws changed, we have seen a change in drinking culture in our town centre, with people drinking at home, coming out later and staying out later. The impact of this on local policing has been huge and we have to have more police on duty for longer hours and in greater numbers over the weekends to deal with the demand.

“We have recently trialled weekend partnership working which has targeted irresponsible drinkers in our town centres, and those arrested for their drunken behaviour have been referred to drug and alcohol specialists.

“We know that those who turn up on our town centres already drunk or engage in irresponsible drinking when in town, leave themselves far more likely to become a victim of crime and we spend a lot of effort warning people of the risks they are taking.

“This work, which aims to prevent alcohol related crime, obviously reduces the availability of officers to deal with other priorities and policing matters that are important to the public.