POLICE are planning a major crackdown on those flouting drink-related laws over the coming week.
A PSNI spokesperson promised today (Friday) that a “highly visible presence” can be expected right across E District, which covers the council areas of Armagh, Craigavon, Newry and Mourne and Banbridge.
Police will be working with partner agencies to highlight and tackle the impact of excessive drinking in support of a UK-wide Alcohol Harm Initiative.
Over the next week, the PSNI says officers will be working with others to tackle behaviour that is impacting negatively on the rest of the community. Licensing officers will be visiting pubs and clubs to conduct checks and provide advice.
And on-street drinking bye laws will be actively enforced.
Superintendent Jason Murphy, PSNI, Operations, E District, told Armagh I: “Nearly 50 per cent of all violent crime is alcohol related. Statistics also indicate that, in incidents of domestic abuse, offenders are thought to be under the influence of alcohol in nearly half of all incidents. Clearly this is a cause for concern.
“In order to help create safer communities we need to raise awareness of the harm that excessive alcohol consumption can have.
“As part of the UK wide Alcohol Harm initiative, officers in towns and cities across E District will be out on our streets to enforce relevant legislation linked to the sale of alcohol, its consumption in public spaces and dealing with criminal behaviour that is the result of excessive drinking and delivering ‘Get Home Safe’ initiatives.”
Superintendent Murphy added: “It is also important to mention that increasingly people are consuming large quantities of alcohol at home, before going out to a nightclub or pub. Some people refer to this as ‘pre-loading’. This can lead to people being very vulnerable, as they become intoxicated more quickly, their judgement is impaired, they can be less aware of their environment and therefore become a victim or perpetrator of crime.
“In recent years,we have seen a number of cases where individuals have died following an altercation during which a single punch was thrown. The police can play a role in tackling violent crime, but we also need individuals to show personal responsibility.”