Merseyside Police is supporting a national week of police action on alcohol and calling time on people who drink irresponsibly and end up involved in crime.

As part of the week of action, officers have been carrying out a range of activities including visiting schools, speaking to students as part of freshers week and working with a range of partners and the licensing trade to promote responsible drinking.

This weekend officers will be in town centres across Merseyside to make sure people are enjoying themselves safely and responsibly and those who have had too much to drink aren’t behaving anti-socially or ending up involved in criminality.

Patrols will also be visiting a range of licensed premises including pubs, clubs and off-licenses to check they are being run responsibly.

The operation is being led by Superintendent Mark Wiggins from Liverpool North.  He said: “Lots of people like to drink socially, but when people take it too far the links between alcohol and crime can’t be ignored and have to be tackled.

“Figures from across the country show that nearly fifty per cent of all violent crime is alcohol related and that figure rises to nearly 75 per cent if we look at assualts which require treatment.

“If you pre-load and are on the way to being drunk before you even leave home, you are 2.5 times more likely to be involved in violence when you’re out, either as a victim or an offender.

“People drinking too much can also have a devastating effect on communities, with alcohol related anti-social behaviour by far the most common form that people experience.

“The message seems pretty clear.  If you drink too much, you are putting yourselves and others at risk and are far more likely to end up involved in criminal behaviour.

“That’s why we are working hard with our partners and the licensing industry to promote responsible drinking across Merseyside and make sure that our town centres and Liverpool city centre remain great places to enjoy a safe night out.

“We have spent the week so far getting some of our key messages out and this weekend we will be out across the force re-inforcing them, including increased patrols, the use of drugs dogs and visiting licensed premises.

The force is also backing the new card being issued as part of the Proof of Age Standards Scheme.  Superintendent Wiggins added:  “Up until now there have been lots of different cards under the scheme which haven’t been widely accepted.  This has meant young people still carry passports or driving licenses as proof of ID, many of which end up lost or stolen and being used fraudulently.

“The new card incorporates proper checks on those approving the applications and will have a single design which incorporates the unique “PASS” hologram.  We are confident the new card will be widely accepted and should mean that people who are over 18 can get into licensed premises and those who aren’t, can’t.

“People need to take responsibility for their own drinking and the consequences it has, but the pro-active stance we are taking should ensure that our night time economies across Merseyside remain safe for everyone to enjoy.”

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