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News - 8 February 2006

Christmas blitz cuts alcohol related crime

Violent crime fell by 11% cent during the Christmas blitz on alcohol related disorder. The Government’s six week campaign, which began in November last year, focused on tackling alcohol related behaviour and targeting those selling alcohol to children.

During the campaign police and trading standards officers carried out over 6,000 test purchase operations, dealt with more that 30,000 offences and made over 25,000 arrests.

Provisional data from forces shows that in the areas that took part in the campaign, more serious violent crime also fell by 21%, the biggest drop of all previous alcohol crackdowns.

Police force data from the Alcohol Misuse Enforcement Campaign (AMEC) show that:

  • All violent crime decreased by 11% during the campaign;
  • Serious violent crime decreased by 21%; within this category wounding and other acts endangering life fell by 14%;
  • During the six week campaign police dealt with 33,358 offences;
  • Police and partners visited 27,154 licensed premises (21,995 on and 5,159 off licence);
  • 25,486 arrests were made;
  • Out of test purchase operations, 29% of on licence and 19% of off-licence premises were found to be selling to minors;
  • Supermarket test purchase failure rate during the campaign was 17%;
  • Police issued 8,179 fixed penalty notices - 38% for being drunk and disorderly, 37% for public order offences and harassment, 10% for selling to minors and 15% for other alcohol-related offences;
  • 649 summonses were issued as a result of test-purchase operations or visits, including:

  • 593 for selling to minors;
  • 17 for selling to drunks;
  • 39 for other alcohol offences.

The results have been good in terms of controlling disorder but have come at a cost to licensees. More money has been spent on security and ID checking and many customers have been turned away or put off by the police presence. Consequently some licensees are feeling the pinch financially.

Smaller licensees are now struggling to balance the books and stay open for the extra hours that people have come to expect.

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