Day of action hopes to hammer home responsible drinking message

Licensed premises visited by police in Elgin on Friday.
Licensed premises visited by police in Elgin on Friday.

A DAY OF ACTION throughout the north east saw licensed premises being visited by police seeking to promote public safety and responsible drinking.

The visits included several in Elgin visited by police and local authority Licensed Standards Officers determined to set the standards well ahead of the busy Festive season.

In total 64 hotels, pubs, bars, clubs and off-sales were visited last Friday – premises were checked for several licensing related matters including compliance with licenses and conditions, staff training and ‘Challenge 25’.

Kenny McGeough, Licensing Inspector for the North East, said: “As we approach the busy festive period we want to promote responsible drinking and ensure that licensed premises are playing their part in providing a safe environment for members of the public to enjoy their night out.

“Off-sales also have a role to play in this as 75% of alcohol is sold in this way and at times consumed in large quantities – known as ‘pre loading’ – prior to attending pubs and clubs.

“We do not want to spoil anyone’s fun, however it’s no secret that excessive alcohol consumption is the biggest contributor to violent crime and it will also be no surprise to hear that the majority of alcohol fuelled offences happen at the weekend.

“Licensed premises are crucial partners with Police Scotland to help manage and reduce this. Alcohol itself doesn’t make people violent but it lowers inhibitions and increases risk taking behaviour which can compromise your own and others safety.”

Kenny added that the north east division had launched Operation PINE this year, aimed at tackling violet crime throughout the region – and Friday’s operation built on ensuring the correct protocols were in place from the outset by licensed premises.

He added: “Coinciding with this licensing operation we have also launched a new policing tool to assist officers with licensed premises visits.

“The D.I.S.C.O process outlines five areas that officers should consider – Duty management, Intoxication, Safety, Cause and Observations. This information is then fully reviewed by the divisional licensing team, who work in close and successful partnership with the licensed trade so that any issues identified can be managed and problems solved.

“This particular initiative was a great success to further strengthen our partnership with licensed premises, to reduce violent crime and to keep people safe. The response from staff and customers was very positive and we appreciate this continued support.

“I would urge the public to assist with our efforts to tackle alcohol-fuelled crimes by drinking responsibly at home and whilst out to ensure their evening does not end in the wrong way.”

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