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Cumbria police picking up tab after licensing laws shake-up

Cumbria's crime commissioner says 24-hour drinking laws have left the county force having to find extra cash for policing near pubs and clubs.

Richard Rhodes photo
Richard Rhodes

Richard Rhodes said officers had to be on-the-beat until after 4am at nightlife hotspots in the wake of the licensing laws shake-up, compared to 2am before they were brought in.

Mr Rhodes was speaking as the force launched a campaign to encourage people to think about their drinking and to spell out the impact of alcohol-fuelled crime.

Licensing laws changed in 2005 to allow pubs and clubs to open beyond the previous cut-off times of 11pm and 2am.

Mr Rhodes said: “Why should it be I have to find the funding for extra officer overtime, which used to be up to 2am on a Friday and Saturday but is now up to 4am?

“But the genie is out of the bottle. That legislation is not going to change.”

Mr Rhodes said he had also heard accounts that people were “pre-loading” on drink at home far more and arriving later in nightclubs.

Police revealed this week that the tab to tackle drink-fuelled crime totals £22m a year in Cumbria.

Figures show 619,000 working hours were spent by county police last year on alcohol-related offences or associated jobs such as patrolling round nightspots.

More than eight per cent of road crashes that led to a fatal or serious injury were also said to be drink-related, as were 40 per cent of all violent crimes.

Police statistics also show 10,700 detainees brought into custody were drunk or on drugs in the previous 12 months, while alcohol played a part in 5,100 antisocial and rowdy incidents.

The figures were issued at the launch at the force’s Carleton Hall headquarters, near Penrith, of a plan to deal with alcohol harm in the county, with Cumbria’s most senior crime-fighting figures present.

Efforts underway include moves to catch people selling alcohol to children, and to hold talks with school pupils to stress the harm involved.

The force has also highlighted schemes such as the Best Bar None drive to recognise landlords who provide good management, discourage binge drinking and prevent alcohol-related crime.

Have your say

Lets get Jonny Mitchell from that Channel 4 programme Education Yorkshire - he is a brilliant headmaster - he would make a brilliant Police and Crime Commissioner instead of the ex-headmaster we do have.

Posted by Trev on 1 October 2013 at 14:08

some of you commenting on this havent got a clue!!!there are a minority of trouble makers in cumbria and repeat offenders in which doorstaff try there best to deal with it!mean time the police force that are short on numbers and budgets are sat in vans ( 1 officer per van) and ive seen 6 most fri and sat nights!! the landlords are not to blame if they are doing everything they can to make there venues safe! and for thos of you who think all landlords sit at home counting there cash get with the times and maybe take a look and speak to venues and i think you will find they are working just as hard as the bar staff/glasscollectors and doorstaff!! cumbria police need to take of there rose tinted glasses and take a shift on the streets of london or manchester and leeds!! cumbria will be a breath of fresh air to come back to

Posted by landlord on 1 October 2013 at 12:42

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