13th Dec, 2018

Radio link-up helping to beat the boozers

Rob George 6th Dec, 2018

A CLAMPDOWN on boozy behaviour in Lowesmoor through the introduction of radios to prevent shopkeepers selling alcohol to street drinkers has seen a dramatic reduction in calls to police.

City police chiefs have welcomed the success of the Lowesmoor Link scheme which has seen the force team up with Worcester City Council and local agencies such as Swanswell and local mental health teams to clamp down on anti-social drinking on the busy Worcester street.

Council chiefs have funded radios for the four shopkeepers involved in the scheme and police officers have spent time in the area reminded traders of licensing laws and listening to their concerns.

As a result, calls to deal with street drinkers and drunken behaviour have plummeted from two to three times a day to just one call in the past six weeks.

Under the scheme traders can radio another shop when anyone drunk attempts to buy booze and all of the businesses now only sell lager in packs of four cans.

Sgt Paul Smith told the Observer the scheme had made a massive impact on the local area.

“People who walk through Lowesmoor have told us they fell better walking through here because there’s no-one stood drinking in the street or congregating in doorways,” he said.

“All the shopkeepers have said they have noticed a massive difference in who is coming into the shop.

“Since we introduced this about six weeks ago we’ve gone from a couple of calls a day to just one in the last few weeks,”

“That call was about a man being abusive in the shop because the shopkeeper was refusing to sell him alcohol because he was drunk so it proves the scheme is working,” he added.

Sgt Smith revealed the police were now looking to replicate the scheme in other areas of the city.

“We didn’t expect it to have such a big difference in a short space of time but it’s had a massive impact,” he said.

“Because of what we have done here, police aren’t spending time dealing with street drunks here they are tackling other issues.

Awat Ahmed owns one of the off-licences on Lowesmoor and told the Observer the scheme already had an impact on the local area.

“We now have a very nice quiet road, we don’t have any problems round here with people drinking too much,” he said.

“The police have done a very good job with this and we’re very happy with the help and support they have given traders like me

A City Council spokesperson said: “The City Council is proud to be supporting this scheme, which is already having a great positive impact in the Lowesmoor area.

“It builds on the work we’ve already done in bringing in an alcohol public space protection order, so drinks can be confiscated from people who are behaving anti-socially.”

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