Operation cuts drink crimes by 25%

VIOLENT crime fuelled by alcohol has been cut by more than 25% in two towns following a police operation targeting pubs and clubs, new figures reveal. Force bosses hailed the success of the Operation Nightsafe campaign, designed to crack down on drink-related crime, after the figures for Mildenhall and Brandon were published.

VIOLENT crime fuelled by alcohol has been cut by more than 25% in two towns following a police operation targeting pubs and clubs, new figures reveal.

Force bosses hailed the success of the Operation Nightsafe campaign, designed to crack down on drink-related crime, after the figures for Mildenhall and Brandon were published.

During the summer months in 2003, there were 115 incidents of violence relating to drunken fights and brawls recorded in public places in the two towns.

But this year, over the same period, there were just 75 similar offences, according to the latest police figures.


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Mildenhall sector commander Adrian Dawson said: "We are delighted with the figures and we would attribute them to our officers being in the right place at the right time.

"We have targeted various nightclubs and pubs and used high profile presence to deter any violence which might occur. The decrease is very startling but we must now make sure we continue to get our message across."

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Under Operation Nightsafe, police visit pubs and clubs early on in the evenings and speak to drinkers, so that should trouble occur later on they will get a less hostile reception, a spokesman for Suffolk police explained.

The operation also includes an increased presence of officers in areas identified as trouble hotspots in order to act as a deterrent to potential troublemakers.

Insp Dawson also said that officers have been working closely with pub landlords, and he praised local Pubwatch schemes for assisting in cutting crime.

He said: "We have had good support from the pubs and we must give credit to them for saying they are running establishments which will not tolerate drunkenness.

"We will now continue with high visibility patrols in identified hotspot areas where we feel we can make the most impact."

The reduction in drink-fuelled violence has been welcomed as contributing to an improvement in the lives of residents, bothered by noise and violent scenes late at night.

Mildenhall councillor John Barker said the council "applauded" the crime reduction and the actions of police in the town.

He said: "We are very pleased at the reduction, and it really does show that having policeman on the streets does have an effect, and frankly, the more police we have in the community the better."

Brandon Town Council chairman Sue Bourton said: "The figures announced by Insp Dawson are very encouraging indeed, not just with regard to drink-related violence, but to crime as a whole.

"Of course it is very good news that drink-related crime is down, especially in places like Mildenhall and Brandon, where such crime tends to be concentrated in the centre of the town and we hope this downward trend will continue."

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