New licensing laws fail to bring expected trouble

PUBLISHED: 12:24 26 January 2006 | UPDATED: 20:19 03 May 2010

NEW licensing laws have not brought about the non-stop partying, punch-ups and puking that its critics predicted as according to Herts Police the lead-up to Christmas was quieter than usual. Alcohol-fuelled street crime has fallen compared to the previous

NEW licensing laws have not brought about the non-stop partying, punch-ups and puking that its critics predicted as according to Herts Police the lead-up to Christmas was quieter than usual. Alcohol-fuelled street crime has fallen compared to the previous year's festive season crackdown. Arrests During the 2005 six-week campaign which ran from November 14, there were 615 offences of actual bodily harm - that's 11 per cent fewer - and the 77 arrests for drunk and disorderly was a drop of 20 per cent. The Alcohol Misuse Enforcement Campaign (AMEC) coincided with the switch to the new licensing regulations which allowed pubs to have extended opening hours. Across the county, 55 Fixed Penalty Notices (FPN) were given for alcohol-related disorders. There were 554 visits to licensed premises and 235 arrests In the central area, which includes St Albans, Harpenden, Welwyn and Hatfield, there were 224 visits to licensed premises and 80 arrests were made. The police also carried out test purchases with trading standards to see if alcohol was being sold to under-18s. In the central area, 33 tests were carried out - 17 of those in St Albans - but none of the children succeeded in buying any booze. Assistant Chief Constable Simon Parr said: "I would like to congratulate officers for their professionalism - preventing what could have been a great deal more incidents through close liaison with licensees as well as the way they dealt with drunken and anti-social behaviour where it occurred. Most drinkers showed a responsible attitude which certainly made our job easier. "Although Christmas has now passed we still need to concentrate on policing the night-time economy all year round. We will continue public-order patrols and deal robustly with licensed premises that breach the terms of their licensing conditions." Brawl n Three men who were arrested following a vicious assault outside Waterend Barn in the early hours of Christmas Eve morning have been further bailed until February 17. A 19-year-old man was seriously injured in the brawl and taken to a specialist head injury unit at the Royal Free Hospital in London. It is thought that he hit his head after being punched in the face. The three men are aged 18 and 19 and all are from St Albans.

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CountryPhile

I should probably have taken the hint! Walking out into the garden recently an unprecedented flock of thirty or more crows raucously greeted me from the treetops at the bottom of my garden. Cawing and croaking these big, black birds clung clumsily to the top most branches and twigs, jostling and flapping to stay balanced in a constant flurry of feathers. There is always something ominous about crows – they are after all carrion crows, the vultures of the bird world – always watching for scraps and weakness that might mean their next meal.

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