Drink fuels Exmouth town centre rise in violent crime

PUBLISHED: 17:31 31 October 2008 | UPDATED: 09:55 10 June 2010

VIOLENT crime and disorder in Exmouth town centre has increased by 15 per cent since last year blamed in part by a change in licensing laws. That was the assessment of Exmouth's Police Inspector Jez Capey this week, when he gave town councillors an upda

VIOLENT crime and disorder in Exmouth town centre has increased by 15 per cent since last year - blamed in part by a change in licensing laws.That was the assessment of Exmouth's Police Inspector Jez Capey this week, when he gave town councillors an update on the latest crime figures.He said that violent crime was "sadly on the increase" and added: "There has been a change in culture of the night time economy. "Legislation has extended the licensing hours of pubs and clubs."It is very easy to get cheap alcohol from supermarkets and people often drink at home before they go out, stay in the pubs for longer, and drink larger quantities and this leads to anti-social behaviour."But he said they were engaged in 'various operations' to try to tackle the problem, including targeting youth drinking in parks, high visibility patrols in known hot spots, working with the Licensed Victuallers Association and undercover investigations to catch landlords serving people who were drunk.But he gave cause for optimism and said that policing in Exmouth overall was very good - and the crime detection rate was at 33 per cent, among the best in the force.Annual crime figures he said had fallen by 10.6 per cent from last year up to March 31 this year, and they had seen a further 3.6 per cent reduction from April to October 2008."We are moving in the right direction," he said.He said that from April to October 2007, 2058 crimes had been reported, and this had fallen this year to just 1819 - well below the five year average of 2098 crimes.He attributed some of the improvements to a better relationship with the community."We have several very good neighbourhood beat managers, very different characters but all very good."He added: "Previously, police, I think, have been a little arrogant, and thought they knew best, concentrating on larger crimes. But low level offences like graffiti and anti-social offences affect communities and we have got better in this area.

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