16 days to go: Our five point plan to tackle binge drinking

A five point plan designed to turn the tide against binge drinking and restore respect to society has been unveiled by Michael Howard.

He pledged that an incoming Conservative Government would confront the worsening yob culture head on, introduce new controls on late night drinking, strengthen the role of local authorities in the licensing of drinking establishments, and give local communities a bigger role in deciding where pubs and clubs are located.

Before flying off on an election visit to Peterborough and Nottingham, the Party Leader told a campaign conference in London: “Our five point plan, which I am announcing today, will confront the binge drinking culture. A Conservative Government won’t turn a blind eye when they bend or break the rules. The same rules will apply to everyone – no-one will be above the law.”

Outlining the proposals, he promised:

* To recruit 5000 more police officers a year and strip them of the burden of bureaucracy and papers

* To get a grip on late night drinking, by giving local councils the power to restrict the issue of late night licences granted to drinking establishments, without them having to worry that their decisions will be overturned by the courts

* To put a stop to irresponsible drink promotions by giving councils the legal right to attach conditions to licences.

* To give councils strong new powers to tackle late night drinking hotspots by blocking licence extensions to premises where there is a clear danger of late night binge drinking getting out of control

* And to give local communities a far greater say in licensing decisions.

Pledging to stand up for the majority of people who “do the right thing” and play by the rules, Mr Howard seized on the dismay felt by many at Britain’s thriving yob culture, and declared: “Much of that yob culture is fuelled by drink. I’m all in favour of people having a good time – as long as their good time doesn’t become someone else’s nightmare.

He acknowledged that quite a few people – including the odd Chief Constable – wanted to sweep the problem under the carpet, claiming that by raising crime as an issue you simply increase people’s fear of it, and said: “Well I’ve got news for them – people are frightened of crime because there’s a lot of it about. Pensioners are frightened of going out during the day, not because of what they read in the papers, but because of what they see on their streets. And couples stay in rather than go out on a Saturday night, not because of some TV reality show they’ve watched, but because they’ve seen for themselves the havoc and mayhem drunken yobs can cause.

“Well people shouldn’t have to settle for this. I don’t want members of the public looking over their shoulders – I want the yobs looking round in fear. Instead of greeting the police with contempt I want them to fear them. I want to make yobs fear the police. It’s time to give the yobs a dose of the fear they’ve been dishing out to the rest of us.”

Mr Howard said: “By putting fear into the hearts of yobs – we’ll give hope to the decent law abiding families who do the right thing and play by the rules. Britain deserves a government that upholds the law – and that’s what a Conservative Government will deliver.”


story from: www.conservatives.com