Alcohol-fuelled crime in Weston’s town centre drops for third year running

PUBLISHED: 07:00 22 December 2017

The MAVIS bus was launched in 2015.

The MAVIS bus was launched in 2015.

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The number of crimes linked to late-night drinking in Weston-super-Mare town centre have fallen for the third successive year.

From January to September this year, there was a 12 per cent reduction in crime and disorder in the centre of the town at night compared to the same period in 2016.

Newly-published figures show there have been 359 crime related to night-time drinking this year.

In 2015, pubs, bars and clubs started being judged using a new traffic light rating system, similar to food hygiene scores.

When the scheme started, 15 premises were rated with the worst scores, as they were ranked as being red or amber for crime, disorder, noise complaints, fire safety, hygiene concerns, and ambulance call-outs. Now every premises in the town centre is rated green.

Police and North Somerset Council have credited their joint-working practices for the fall in violence over the past three years.

An Avon and Somerset spokesman said: “We have re-introduced the Pubwatch scheme with our partners in the town, where problem individuals are banned from venues under the scheme.

“We have a night net radio arrangement, where we can talk to various venues in the town and also have access to the local authority run CCTV, which operates through the town.

“There is also the MAVIS bus which provides a point-of-contact with medical staff available.

“This all forms part of partnership, working with the licensed premises, North Somerset Council and St Johns Ambulance and the Street Pastors.”

Between four and eight people are treated on the MAVIS bus during nights out, reducing the strain on the emergency services.

Other recent initiatives include raising awareness of what constitutes a sexual assault, and campaign with a zero-tolerance approach to hate crime during the night-time economy is also being launched.

Howard Pothecary, the council’s community safety manager, said: “We want to provide a safe, enjoyable and friendly evening and night-time economy for everyone, while promoting good trade and tourism and reducing demand on police and clinical services.”

The improvements in Weston mean the town holds a purple flag, which recognises areas with a safe night-time economy.

Weston has been recently re-assessed and the result should be announced in the new year.

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