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7:02am 8th March 2014
7:02am 8th March 2014
The fight against booze fuelled bother in Cornwall steps up a notch.
It is after the man in charge of policing the Duchy and Devon met with supermarket bosses.
Now sales will be monitored, there will be more information for customers and better staff training.
Police and Crime Commissioner Tony Hogg said he was pleased with the number of retailers represented at this initial meeting: "I wanted to create an environment for a frank exchange of views and ideas at this first meeting and this approach has encouraged many to join me."
A presentation by the Commissioner, his team and Deputy Chief Constable Bill Skelly showed the impact of alcohol here. Devon and Cornwall has the seventh highest rate of violent crime in the country. There are around 20,000 incidents of violence against the person every year
"This is not a position we want to be in, so we must meet this difficult challenge head on." said Mr Hogg
"Alcohol clearly plays a significant part in these figures, and a major contributory factor is 'pre-loading' when people spend hours drinking cheaper alcohol at home before going out to pubs and clubs.
"The drinker who commits a crime due to their inability to control their alcohol intake is the problem here.
"It is our job to find ways to help them change their behaviour, so freeing the rest of society from the harm or crime they may create."
"I was delighted at the engagement from all those present." said DCC Skelly. "There was a valuable contribution from the retailers on a subject that is of huge importance for communities in Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly."
Today's initial discussion identified a number of areas like:
* Boosting cooperation at the local level between the police and retailers - to problem solve locally and address issues as they arise
*Raising awareness about how high levels of alcohol consumption increase the risk that people will commit crimes or become victims of violent crime and help to shift behaviours and attitudes to reduce alcohol related crime
"We have such a diverse urban, rural and coastal region with a massive population increase in the tourist season." said Mr Hogg. "It's very much a case of finding different solutions for different places."
Beyond retailers, the Commissioner is planning to engage with drinks producers and representatives from the pub and club trade in the next weeks.
"Nobody underestimates the scale of this issue. Those that are serious about improving the position need to be committed to the long haul." said Mr Hogg
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