Action need to stop soaring levels of alcohol-related crime

Alistair Craig, Conservative Parliamentary Candidate for Greenwich & Woolwich, today added his voice to growing concern over the introduction of new licensing laws, which will allow an explosion in late night drinking. A senior judge has warned that town centres across Britain are becoming ‘revolting and dangerous places’ and young people are being turned into ‘urban savages’ because of the rise in alcohol-fuelled violence.

Analysis of Home Office crime figures has revealed that the number of violent attacks across Greenwich have soared by 10 per cent since 1999, up from 6,234 to 6,855 a year – with alcohol a key cause. Criminal damage across the Metropolitan Police area has risen by 8 per cent.

Alistair explained, “I am all in favour of people having a good time out. But in Greenwich, like in other towns and cities across Britain today, we are creating not a café culture, but a yob culture. The consequences of binge drinking are very serious: fights, shop windows smashed in, communities vandalised. People find this intimidating and frightening; they want a government that restores decent values and respect. Yet Mr Blair is content to unleash 24 hour drinking on our towns and cities which will only make this problem worse. It is no wonder that most people feel they have been forgotten by Labour.

“The Government must delay 24-hour opening until we conquer binge drinking. Only Conservatives will take action, enforcing zero tolerance policing and giving local councils the proper powers to tackle these problems.”

Under the policies proposed by Conservatives:

• Local councils will have greater discretion over licensing hours, rather than having to follow Whitehall diktats. This will mean local residents will have a greater say.

• There should be stronger powers to control late licences to prevent disorder hotspots, where they are too many bars or pubs in a vicinity.

• Councils should have the ability to prohibit ‘all you can drink’ promotions, where young people are encourage to binge drink on free drinks after paying a one-off entrance fee.

• The Metropolitan Police will receive 8,539 extra police officers, and red-tape will be cut to get more police offices back on the beat.

Alistair continued: “Binge drinking and under-age drinking has a direct link to soaring levels of violent crime – no wonder that violent attacks across Greenwich have soared by 10 per cent since 1999, and criminal damage is up 8 per cent. It is time to reclaim our streets and make them safer for everyone at night.”