Alcohol issues tackled in week of action across South Glos and B&NES

Half-full BeerPolice visited pubs, clubs and off-licences across South Gloucestershire and Bath and North East Somerset as part of a week of activities to raise awareness of the part alcohol plays in crime and disorder.

They teamed up with council licensing and Trading Standards officers and taxi marshals for the campaign.

In Keynsham, the neighbourhood team carried out a joint initiative with Special Constables to visit licensed premises in the town centre.  They also carried out visits to pubs in rural areas to ensure they were complying with their licence requirements.

And in Staple Hill and Kingswood area they worked with a 19-year-old Special Constable in plain clothes checking 61 licensed premises to see whether they would ask for identification before selling him alcohol. The operation aimed to encourage premises to adopt the trade’s own ‘Challenge 25’ scheme to help prevent sales of alcohol to under 18s. All but three premises did ask him to prove he was 18, and those three were given advice.

Neighbourhood officers were also joined by Special Constables on patrols in areas known for underage drinking in the Chipping Sodbury and Thornbury area. And officers went to the University of the West of England Freshers’ Fair to give students advice on staying safe on a night out.

Officers also carried out ‘morning after’ drink-driving checks in Winterbourne and were pleased that none of the drivers checked were over the limit.

Superintendent Mike Carter said: “Alcohol is behind much of the crime, disorder and anti-social behaviour which is reported to the police. Across B&NES and South Gloucestershire we have many well-run pubs and clubs offering people a safe and enjoyable night out as well as many responsibly run off-licences, and that’s the way we want to keep it.

“Drinking to excess can leave people more at risk of becoming a victim of crime – or committing an offence like criminal damage or assault.  It doesn’t just cause problems for people living near to or working at pubs and clubs. A national survey in 2009 has shown that alcohol was the cause of 70 per cent of night-time visits to hospital accident and emergency departments.”