We will never allow teenage tearaways or anybody else to turn our town centres into no go areas at night times. No one has yet cracked the whole problem of a youth drinking culture. We thought that extended hours would make our city centres easier to police and in many areas it has.
Any idea who said this and when? Go on have a guess? I'll keep you in suspense for now. Do you think that the person who said this got it right? Do you think they have accurately summed up how pleasant it is to stroll through our Town Centres at 11pm on a Saturday night?
The thing which really depresses me about teenage yob culture and problems associated with teenage drinking is that I believe that it should be relatively simple to tackle. I've sat the exam for Licensees, I know the law on the subject. Any licensed premises which fails to maintain public order can have its license to sell alcohol revoked. In the Borough of Barnet, there are certain pubs and shops which are known to be associated with drink related social problems. I wonder how many pubs & off licenses in Barnet (especially supermarkets) have had their drinks license revoked in the last year, following bad behaviour by their customers?
The solution is simple. Individuals who are arrested for drink related disorder should be given ASBOs banning them from ALL establishments in the London Borough of Barnet which sell drink. Every licensed premises should be given a list of names and photographs of all such people and any establishment selling Alcohol to such a person should lose, either on a temporary or permanent basis, their drinks license. You may ask the question "What about supermarkets, how could they police such a system with so many tills?". Well that is a business issue for them to resolve. They have to get a license to sell booze, the same as everyone else. If you are in the game of selling drink, you have to have a policy of responsibility. Big profits come with big responsibilities.
I'd suggest that Barnet have a "responsible drinking month". All areas where drink related disorder was a problem would be targeted and for 1 month, that would be the top priority for local police teams. Any drink outlets that didn't comply would lose their licenses for breaching the licensing act.
My guess is that there would be a huge tail off in all manner of crime as a result. I'd start by withdrawing alcohol licenses for 7 days. If the message didn't sink in, then I'd strip those establishments and individuals who put profits above the law of their licenses permanently.
Back to the quote at the top. Did you get it. Prime Minister Gordon Brown said this to the Labour Conference in 2009. I'm taking a wild guess here, but I don't think Gordon spends much time boozing in Town Centre pubs at chucking out time?