Hull MP backs crackdown on drunken yobs

Hull North MP Diana Johnson today backed a hard-hitting new campaign against the violence caused by alcohol misuse.

The joint campaign between the Home Office and the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) aims to tackle alcohol and drug-related crime and focuses on the period running up to Christmas.

Humberside Police have already announced this week that they are extending their 'zero tolerance' policy on alcohol-induced disorder from Hull's city centre out into residential estates and other trouble spots. Humberside Police have also prosecuted an individual for breaking the terms of an Anti-Social Behaviour Order (ASBO), which required him to remain outside the city centre's 'Safer Entertainment Zone'. This resulted in a four month prison sentence.

Under the new initiative, Police and Trading Standards will target drunken thugs causing violence and disorder and those who break the law by selling alcohol to under 18s, at both on and off-license premises. The Licensing Act 2003, which comes into force on 24 November, also provides tough new powers to tackle disorder and close premises.

Diana Johnson MP said: "This crackdown on alcohol-induced anti-social behaviour will help make Hull a safer place to live and socialise.

"Everyone should be clear that we mean business - not just the drunken yobs, but also rogue licensees who profit from binge drinking.

"Taking firm action against louts who refuse to take responsibility for themselves will allow the rest of us to enjoy responsible drinking.

"These new powers will tackle underage alcohol sales, deter excessive drinking and fine those who refuse to behave properly. It will be easier to deal with pubs and clubs that cause problems, and even close down persistent offenders."

Home Secretary, Charles Clarke, added: "We are determined to crack down firmly on those who get drunk and cause misery to others - everyone has the right to enjoy a pleasant drink free from fear or intimidation.

"There already exist a wide range of powers from fixed penalty notices to orders to close pubs and nightclubs instantly for up to 24 hours. The Licensing Act will give the police even more power to close down problem bars and increase penalties for premises that sell to underage drinkers.

"The message is clear - go out, have a good time and enjoy a drink. But if you are intent on causing trouble, be certain that you will receive at the very least a hefty fine and possibly a custodial sentence."