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Speak up now to help curb Whitby’s drink-related problems

Whitby prepares  the forthcoming Captain Cook celebrations . A view from the harbour .pic Richard Ponter 183050c
Whitby prepares the forthcoming Captain Cook celebrations . A view from the harbour .pic Richard Ponter 183050c

Always a popular family destination, it seems that Whitby has now become an even more popular place for people to come to have a drink-related good time.

I understand we have one of the highest ratio of pubs per head of population in England.

And more and more businesses are applying for licences to sell alcohol. I believe this could be one of the reasons that the category violent crime is the most prevalent crime category in Whitby with 79 offences committed in 2016-17.

It is a common occurrence in Whitby, particularly at the weekend, to witness people staggering in the street from too much drink, to see large, loud groups of people the worse for wear moving from pub to pub in town or helping a mate, who can no longer stand, back to the bus home.

All this before it gets dark.

Those removed from licensed premises or refused admittance to pubs by security staff because they have already had enough are then left on the streets. The number of residents living in the centre of Whitby is reducing, people moving further out of town because of alcohol-related disturbances in the centre.

Not many people seem to be aware of this but both Whitby and Scarborough have Cumulative Impact Zones identified by the Licensing Services and taken into consideration when premises licences are applied for.

This means that if a new licence could spoil your life for various reasons then the Licensing Authority must take notice and consider the impact of granting a licence.

The Whitby Cumulative Impact Zone was introduced in 2006 with the aim of upholding the council’s licensing objectives of prevention of crime and disorder, prevention of public nuisance, public safety and the protection of children from harm.

Scarborough Borough Council has voted to consult the public until August 10, on whether to remove the Cumulative Impact Zone from Whitby.

Police figures show apart from the reporting of violent crime everything else is getting better.

Could this be because you can’t remember the last time you saw a police officer on the streets of Whitby to make a report to?

This may very well be due to lack of funding but if they are not there they can’t see what is happening and the onus is on the member of the public to ring 101 and the police will deal with it when they have time.

It could be the way incidents are recorded but you can get drunk and then smash windows without it being recorded as a crime and therefore not appear as a statistic.

With regard to the consultation, for the sake of the residents and the town I would urge you to make your voice heard and ask for the Cumulative Impact Zone to remain.

It’s no good just grumbling about drink-related problems in the town. Do something about it.

If you live in Whitby or own a holiday let or business in Whitby and have been affected by drink-related incidents be sure to be part of this consultation. Make sure your voice is heard. You can click here to see the consultation at:

David Wharton

White Horse Yard

Whitby