UK: Drunk disorderlies face united front

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A new partnership between police, trading standards, local authorities and the drinks industry is aiming to combat the problem of alcohol-related disorder across the UK this summer.

Up to 70 police Basic Command Units (BCUs) from over 30 police forces across the country have committed to working with Trading Standards and local pubs and retailers in a targeted programme of enforcement to crack down on the illegal and irresponsible selling and consumption of alcohol.

Over 25 organisations including the British Beer and Pub Association, The Portman Group, Association of Convenience Stores and the Wine and Spirit Association have teamed up to ensure that their members are kept updated with police enforcement activity over the summer.

The campaign will also share information with managers, licence holders and staff on the key laws and related penalties, which can include fines up to £1,000 and even a 24 hour closure.

Mark Hastings, Director of Communications at the British Beer and Pub Association said: "We welcome the drive by the Home Office to crack down on drunken thugs and bad pubs. The industry fully supports the prosecution of troublemakers and those licensees who encourage irresponsible drinking. The disruption they cause is unacceptable to the vast majority of well-run pubs and the many millions of people out enjoying themselves over a social drink. We are pleased to see the police using the powers they have to tackle the issue head on."

Richard Caborn, Licensing Minister at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, said: "Like Home Office colleagues, I am determined that our town and city centres should be accessible for all to enjoy at night, free from the threat of alcohol-related violence. We are working with the industry, police, local authorities and others to achieve this goal.

"The summer enforcement campaign is a key component of that drive. It paves the way for the Licensing Act 2003, and its toughened police powers and flexible closing times, all of which will help turn our town centres into safe, sustainable and vibrant locations for work and leisure."

The partnership is a part of the Alcohol Harm Reduction Strategy, launched by the Prime Minister earlier this year to tackle alcohol-related disorder.

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