2 hours ago
Wednesday, 24 July 2013
I have drunk in pubs for over forty years and in some rough ones too. In that time, I've seen plenty of arguments, but very few fights, yet alone incidents where glasses or bottles have been used as weapons. I do though read about such appalling occurrences from time to time. These kind of attacks, when they happen, are horrifying and need the full force of the law to be brought down on the perpetrators. In fact they need to be locked up for a long time.
These kind of incidents are though relatively rare and while horrible, do they justify the response we see from police in Plymouth? That is to seek a ban on glassware where "more than one incident of this kind takes place". The action is aimed at "troublesome night spots" it seems, but reading about it more carefully, there is an indication that it may well be spread wider than that. In fact the Morning Advertiser has a headline which reads: "Glass bottles and traditional glasses are to be banned from pubs and bars in Plymouth city centre to stamp out late night violent crime." Now define "incident" please. And "late night". The Police, as nearly always it seems, are much more likely to try and inflict a restriction on the civil liberties of many, rather than tackle the actual culprits. If there are well known "troublesome nightspots" then why aren't they applying the letter of existing law and having them closed down or restricted in their operations? Why should the vast majority of well behaved customers have to drink out of plastic or aluminium, in case a nutter goes berserk? Oddly the Plymouth cops cite an 80% reduction in "serious violence" in Newquay as a justification. 80% of how many you might wonder? 20? 100? 1000? Note too "serious crime". Not glassings, but serious crime. Dodgy justification and conflating two different things with each other seem doubtful by way of justification unless there is a whole lot more verifiable evidence to support it.
When the police seek to restrict the liberty of individual businesses and customers, they should be made to explain the statistical evidence behind what they are doing, what they have already tried which has failed and why existing powers they have are insufficient to deal with it.
No proof - no way.
I declare an interest here. I hate drinking out of plastic. On the plus side, I'm probably in bed by the time these troublesome incidents occur.
Posted by Tandleman at 12:17