Plans to tackle booze menaces

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A draft plan to deal with the night time economy over the next three years has been drawn up following one of the biggest studies of its kind carried out in the area.

It has used data from North Yorkshire Police, the borough council, North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue and health services, along with evidence from taxi and takeaway businesses, Pubwatch and Street Angels.

The information creates a picture of the current state of the night time economy, the emerging trends and what can be done to manage them.

While general crime and disorder related to the night time economy has been falling across the borough for the past four years, there is concern that incidents linked to alcohol are going up with higher concentrations of incidents now happening between midnight and 5am – much later in the night than previously seen.

It is thought the trend of “pre-loading”, where people drink large amounts of alcohol in their homes before coming into the town centre to begin their night out, often as late as 11pm, is becoming a growing feature.

The draft action plan – out for public consultation until the middle of September – sets out a number of measures agencies including the council and police intend to take to tackle alcohol-related incidents.

Recommendations include a highly visible and proactive police approach, visible door staff and multi-agency patrols; use of a “passive drugs dog”; more rear smoking areas for pubs and bars on key routes along with effective management of those spaces; a crackdown on drinks promotions to ensure they are being operated responsibly; and more fixed penalty notices for public order offences.