Boozebuster cops cut crime

TOUGH action to tackle drink-related crime has helped cut violent offences and disorder in Glasgow City Centre.

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Police are taking more of a zero tolerance approach to drunken behaviour in the city centre
Police are taking more of a zero tolerance approach to drunken behaviour in the city centre

Serious violent offences in the city centre has halved in the last seven years.

But senior officers have vowed they will be far from complacent.

Chief Inspector Alan Porte, area commander for the city centre, has pledged to rid the city centre's streets of drunks and troublemakers.

Fewer people are now being arrested for disorder offences in the city centre, with incidents falling by 5.5% from April to December, against last year.

Senior officers believe stop-and-searches and working with partners, including Community Safety Glasgow, are key to keeping serious crime and disorder down.

Mr Porte today warned there would be no let-up in the battle against booze - and offenders will be caught.

He said: "We will deal robustly with drunken or boisterous behaviour. Anyone found drinking in the street will be dealt with and reported to the procurtor fiscal.

"Glasgow City Centre is a safe place and we want people to come into the city, and enjoy everything it has to offer.

"And we will continue to work to make Glasgow as safe as possible."

With around 100,000 people descending on the city centre alone at weekends, it can be seen as an easy target for criminals looking for an opportunity.

Mr Porte added: "It's all about being sensible and responsible when out socialising in the city centre.

"By all means have fun, but do it safely.

"There are criminals out there who will take advantage of vulnerable people, so I would urge everyone to be vigilant.

"Small things like planning ahead, making sure you have money to get home, making sure your phone is charged and using a licensed taxi firm, can make all the difference."

The city's SOS Bus is in place at Gordon Street, to provide first aid, as well as providing help for people too drunk to get home alone.

Police officers and street pastors are also on hand to offer help for anyone the worse for wear.

It comes after the Evening Times revealed under-age binge drinking has led to a 55% increase in the number of young people in Glasgow with serious liver disease.

Alcohol-related liver damage is becoming increasingly common in the city amongst those aged under 30.

Last month, Glasgow City Council licensing bosses and senior doctors announced plans to stop any more breakfast pubs opening in the city.

Test purchasing can also be used to check to see if - and where - under 18s are being supplied with booze.

City centre cops are also cracking down on minor drunken offending in the firm belief a man caught urinating is unlikely to be caught in a drunken fight later that night.

The number of people caught drinking or urinating in Glasgow streets has risen dramatically ­after police intensified their crackdown on drunken yobs.

Nearly 20,000 fixed penalty notices were issued to those who drank alcohol outdoors in 2012-13 - making the offence by far the most common in the city.

Figures for those caught urinating in public rose even faster, by 34% this year to more than 6800.

rebecca.gray@eveningtimes.co.uk

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