Dismore raises impact of alcohol on Camden’s Night Time Economy

Barnet and Camden Labour London Assembly and City Hall Police Committee member Andrew Dismore AM raised the impact of excessive alcohol consumption on policing and Camden’s night time economy during a meeting of the Police Committee, which started an inquiry into the effects of alcohol on London’s night time economy. (NTE) (Click here to see video link)

Mr Dismore said:

‘The overwhelming majority of people who come to Camden for its vibrant and exciting evening and night time venues do so to have a good time, and use alcohol responsibly. However there is a minority who can and do cause problems for the police and for the local community as a result of excessive drinking.

‘I raised a number of points with the police and other experts at the evidence session, including:

  • The availability of cheap alcohol for ‘pre-loading’ , when many visitors visit nearby off licences or supermarkets to purchase cheaper alcohol, causing higher levels of intoxication, extra litter, glass on the streets and further difficulty in managing the NTE as the street becomes an additional location to manage as well as the venues.
  • Police officers can easily get involved in low level alcohol related disorder or anti-social behaviour. If an arrest occurs early on this can remove them from the area they have been sent to police for the rest of the night, especially when the number of custody places is under pressure across London.
  • Many of the issues caused by excessive alcohol consumption (noise, litter, vomit, public urination) have a disproportionate effect on community satisfaction to how the NTE is managed. This can distract attention and resources away from reducing harm and violence and tackling nuisance and disturbance.
  • The extension of licensing hours following the Licensing Act 2003 means that issues relating to the NTE happen over a longer period resulting in police resources being stretched further over a longer period.
  • ‘This was a very full exchange  as part of our first session in building up the picture, and I hope that we will be able to produce some useful recommendations as to what can be done to improve the situation, once we conclude the inquiry’.