Staffordshire police chief's warning over late-night crime
CHIEF Constable Mike Cunningham has warned that the night-time economy is being overtaken by alcohol-related crime.
Staffordshire's top police officer has spoken out over concerns that crimes such as attacks by boozed-up thugs, drink driving and domestic violence are a continual drain on police resources.
Mr Cunningham voiced his concerns after new figures revealed that violent crime in the city centre more than doubles after 9pm.
Staffordshire Police spent an estimated £520,000 in resources dealing with late night crime in Hanley last year – before taking into account the costs of the court system.
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The chief constable said alcohol poses a 'big threat' to society.
He said: "I think the big issue we are all facing, which is societal, is alcohol.
"The police do not have all the answers to this and we have to work very closely with our partners in the trade.
"If anyone is unsure of the effect that this has on resources I would invite them to visit a police station or accident and emergency.
"The alcohol industry has a very strong foothold on our communities and it is a big threat going forward."
Speaking at a meeting with residents in Hartshill, Mr Cunningham it would help the force if licensing hours were reduced.
He said: "It would mean we would be able to manage our resources better.
"We want a vibrant night life scene which is safe and this is something that we aspire for.
"The people should decide what they want Hanley to look and feel like on a Saturday night and not the nightclub and bar owners."