Council welcomes action on alcohol

Winchester City Council has welcomed the recent police action on under-age drinking and alcohol-related disturbances in the City Centre

Cllr Brian Collin, Cabinet member with responsibility for Crime and Disorder liaison, said the action has set a positive tone for the rest of this year. "It proves that if the license holders and the police collaborate, underage drinking is much reduced and late night disturbances are brought under control.

"We want a City that is a great place to have a good time, safely and without disturbance to other residents," continued Cllr Collin. "It's good to know that the police are there and prepared to take a firm hand if people misbehave."

On a normal Friday or Saturday night in Winchester, there are up to 3,000 people enjoying themselves in the City's bars, restaurants and pubs.

"The vast majority have a good time and go home safely with good memories of the evening," said Cllr Collin, "but I'm still concerned about the sheer amount some people drink.

"I believe that a good night out is one that you should remember - preferably good memories without embarrassment. There's no point in spending upwards of £50 on an evening and then getting so plastered you can't remember it. That's not good value.

"We fully support the move by the police to instigate a PRIME initiative, which will look at the underlying causes of the problem rather than the symptoms. Winchester Against Night-time Disorder (WAND) will aim to identify longer term solutions by working together as a multi-agency 'task force', and the Council will be involved from the start," he added.

The City Council is currently consulting about its licensing policies and is supporting the British Beer & Pub Association which is asking licensees to abide by its code of practice on irresponsible drink promotions. This would seek to rule out promotions that stress drinking large quantities.

PRIME (Problem Resolution In Multi-agency Environments) is Hampshire Constabulary's response to what is traditionally called Problem Oriented Policing (POP). POP has been widely adopted in America and is aimed at tackling the root causes of crime.