Clampdown on excessive boozing

Deputy Chief Constable Ian Hopkins

Deputy Chief Constable Ian Hopkins

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DOZENS of Wigan pubs and clubs were visited by police over the weekend in a new crackdown on excessive drinking.

Officers are encouraging revellers not to binge-drink sensibly and walk away from trouble as part of a campaign to make local town centres safer places to visit.

Operation Thinksafe Drinksafe comes in response to public concern about violent crime, disorder and antisocial behaviour in town centres linked to excessive drinking. According to ACPO statistics, nearly 80 per cent of all violence is linked to alcohol consumption.

Greater Manchester Police’s Deputy Chief Constable Ian Hopkins (pictured) said: “We all have a responsibility to ensure that a night out is a good experience and does not escalate into drunken violence that compromises people’s safety.

“We want people to enjoy the vibrant nightlife in Wigan, but to do it responsibly, and avoid trouble by walking away. It is also important to ensure that violence is not acceptable behaviour as even minor outbursts can have devastating outcomes – one drunken wild punch or shove can have lasting consequences, and can even kill.

“We are determined to help responsible landlords who refuse to serve those that are underage or those that have clearly drunk too much. We will support them in putting the safety of those enjoying their hospitality first as well as meeting their legal obligations.

Over this weekend officers visited more than 300 pubs and clubs across Greater Manchester to check that they are adhering to licensing conditions such as their CCTV and security arrangements, opening hours and that they have procedures in place to ensure that underage and already intoxicated drinkers are refused service.

They also used drug dogs and testing kits to check if drugs are being used or dealt on the premises.

Venues found to be operating outside the terms of their licensce were required to take urgent corrective action or risk being closed down.

Excessive drinking also puts health at risk and in extreme circumstances can require hospital admission, putting pressure on already stretched emergency services.