Let’s call time on alcohol-related crime
WALSALL risks ruining its improving reputation for combating anti-social behaviour if it allows the town centre to become over-populated with bars and nightclubs, the Conservative Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Walsall South has said.
Sue Arnold said the number of drinking venues in the town was at saturation point and a sensible solution needed to be found if the good name of the borough was to be upheld.
“No one wants to be a killjoy and I am not for one minute saying that people should not be allowed to enjoy themselves,” she said.
“However, we have to be realistic and at some point say ‘Enough is enough’ because if we continue to allow these types of premises to open unchecked then we are heading for trouble.
“Alcohol-related crime in the borough has fallen over the last five years, according to latest figures and we want that trend to continue because it will enhance Walsall’s reputation and will be a vital factor when potential investors look at the best places in which to spend their money.”
Mrs Arnold born and brought up in Walsall, said planning guidelines laid down by Walsall Borough Council stated the town centre had been saturated by licensed premises and this was having a significant cumulative effect.
“West Midlands Police have in the past, produced evidence to support the case for Walsall town centre to receive special status for its high number of licensed premises,” said Mrs Arnold.
“Our hardworking police officers’ jobs are difficult enough without having this unwanted strain placed on their resources. This is why if we are committed to reducing anti-social crime still further then we need to give them every possible level of support.”
She said initiatives such as those being followed by Public Health Walsall were having a welcome result in reducing alcohol-related crime and steps to encourage this should be adopted as a priority.
“The figures show alcohol-related crime has fallen by 29 per cent since 2009 – a better performance than that achieved by both the region and the UK as a whole and this is to be applauded but there is still work to be done,” she said.
“I was born and brought up in Walsall and I know that the thousands of people who live in not just the Walsall South constituency, but the borough as a whole are like me, proud of their local area and do not want to see it ruined by drunken yobs.
“Therefore I am calling on Walsall Council to adopt a sensible approach to any future applications for licensed premises and to recognise the impact this will have for the future of our town centre if they don’t.”