POLICE have launched a major clampdown on binge drinking as the festive season approaches.
Patrols will be stepped up in Scarborough and for the first time a custody van, operated by a private company, will scour the streets to allow officers to remain on the beat to cope with the increase in drink-related anti-social behaviour.
Determined not to focus primarily on pubs and clubs, police will also work with supermarkets as cheap Christmas drink offers are introduced in a bid to tackle binge drinking in the home and on the streets.
Scarborough Inspector Tony Quinn said: “Obviously at Christmas people do socialise more so you get the problems associated with the night time economy. A lot of it is linked to the fact people drink cheaper booze at home before they even go out and you get problems there. There are also increased problems with street drinkers because they are celebrating, as well as Christmas parties and people visiting the town for Christmas breaks so we need a greater presence.”
Following a successful pilot last summer, private firm G4S will provide police in Scarborough, Whitby and Ryedale with a custody van and two staff.
Insp Quinn said: “It will detain people at the scene and take them to custody. This means officers can stay on the streets longer rather than going back to custody. It helped us to cope with the increase in summer and we are now going to try it in the run-up to Christmas.”