Tuesday 26 October 2010

Battling the booze

I attended a meeting last week which was rounding off a local alcohol campaign in my ward. There was a lot of partnership working between GCSS, Strathclyde Police, Land and Environmental Services, Health and Licensing Officials and youth providers to crack down on public drinking and youth disorder. The results of the work are quite impressive.

Over the period of the initiative, from April to October, there was a reduction in anti-social behaviour by 11%, and a reduction in youth disorder by 22%. Sixty-eight drinking dens were identified and removed, and over 450 visits were made to licensed premises to ensure that under-aged and agent selling was being challenged and shop staff were aware of their responsibilities.

Most impressive of all was the haul of alcohol confiscated from people drinking in the street - a total of 467 litres! This was broken down as over 250 litres of cider, over 100 litres of beer/lager, over 90 litres of wine (of which, I understand, a particular tonic wine forms a part), and over 30 litres of spirits.

I wouldn't want to claim that my ward is representative of Scotland as a whole or al fresco drinkers as a group, but it certainly seems that of those people likely to be caught drinking outside and causing anti-social behaviour, most are drinking low cost, high volume drinks - cider and beer. These are the drinkers and the drinks that minimum pricing would target, and by this evidence rightly so. That particular wine is a problem but, in the inner East End of Glasgow, it's certainly not the problem Labour claim it is.

Partners are now discussing the actions which were taken over these past months, and what aspects they can afford to pursue. There is still much work to be done.


Anonymous said...

fun police!

Anonymous said...

I like the fact that politicians are taking note of anti-social behaviour, but disturbed the answers are either State paternalism or to punish the poor.

What we need is some Rudy Giuliani style Zero Tolerance for low level crime. It turned New York around and if it can work there it can work in Glasgow.

However, leftie-types seem to think punishing criminals is wrong - even when the very people crying out for help to fight crime are the less well-off.

BellgroveBelle said...

I do agree on the zero tolerance to low level crime issue - I'm quite interested in the work of Kelling and Cole in this area (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Broken_windows_theory).

The action in this initiative aimed to tackle low level crime and disorder, drinking in public, the littering that comes with drinking dens. It required everyone to work together, from the source of the alcohol to where the empty bottles end up. The Police had some figures for arrests, searches and suchlike, which I can try to obtain if that would be of interest.

I try to use this zero-tolerance approach in my work as a Councillor, reporting problems such as broken street lights and pot holes as I come across them. I sometimes put this up on here, but I don't know whether people would be that interested in reading about potholes every other week!

Anonymous said...

Intelligent response to my comment Alison. Especially coming from a nationalist! (joke)

Please publish the figures if you get them, or if not send a link to me on twitter (johndcgow).

PS. I will read your link - looks interesting.

wee folding bike said...

There is a web page all about reporting holes in the road:


North Lanarkshire seem to ignore it. I've been reporting a faulty stank lid for years. It's only faulty if you're on a bike.

You can use the web page to report them and also check when they have been mended and see how well your council are doing.

Mending is a relative term. A big hole I pass on the way to work is related to truck drivers parking to get their pieces and a pinch point outside a supermarket. It gets tar dumped into it a couple of times a year but that only lasts for a week or so.

Some of the problems are long standing. A civil engineer of my acquaintance insists that one of the recurrent faults in Woodlands Rd results from a failure to make good after removing tram tracks in the early '60s.

joe90 kane said...

I can't wait to feel the effects of the new Condemnation Government's approach to crime reduction, which is to make sure it increase - poverty is directly related to social problems. Get rid of poverty andmamy of the social ills that plague society disappear.

That's why leafy suburbs like Bearsden and Milngavie don't have the same problems that the east of Glasgow does. Or maybe someone would like to argue that well-off communities are more moral than poorer ones?

The east of Glasgow is one of the poorest areas in Britian which, automatically, means it's one of the poorest and most deprived in Western developed Europe and the Western World (outside of American inner city areas, which are no better than slums in the Global South).

Our cousins in Ireland, for instance, had massive problems due to poverty and deprivation - until they got shot of being ruled from the anti-democratic, medieval and decrepit Westmidden.

Anyone who is serious about ridding Scotland of its historical structual poverty and deprivation can only look to Westmidden as the source of all its problems. Period.

In the meantime, until the underlying structural problems which afflict the largest area of urban deprivation in Western Europe are addressed, excellent work BB.

As always, I wish you were my councillor.

Take care.