Booze crackdown

ABUSERS of alcohol have one month to change their ways before Glasgow steps up its bid to tackle the city’s alcohol crisis.

A range of new measures, including plain clothes police officers on public transport and child protection referrals to social work, will be part of a new zero-tolerance approach to the problem.

Meanwhile, for those convicted of alcohol related offences, community service has been proposed as an alternative to prosecution.

In June, a joint action group led by Glasgow city council leader Gordon Matheson and Strathclyde police chief constable Stephen House began to try and tackle the problem and the resulting proposals will be in place from October 1.

Councillor Matheson said: “People who cause booze-fuelled misery in our communities must change their ways and be made to pay for their actions.

“The new measures show we are serious about tackling Glasgow’s drink problem. Ordinary, decent people, including the vast majority of the licensed trade, are fed up with the misery caused by booze and we’re standing up for them.

“People need to take responsibility for their actions, whether it’s parents who have no idea what their children are up to, or shopkeepers who sell alcohol to kids, or people who come into Glasgow at the weekend and make a fool of themselves after binge drinking.

Chief Constable House said: “We wanted to find measures that were practical, enforceable and would make a real difference to people in our communities. I believe that we have done just that.

The group also agreed to roll out a “chill out hour” which will allow a number of clubs to operate for an extra hour on Friday and Saturday nights between 3 and 4am, during which hot food and soft drinks will be sold while calming music will be played, in an effort to reduce queues at fast food outlets and taxi stands.

Other initiatives include an SOS bus providing pastoral care and shelter, a major task force against sales to under-age people, and a crackdown on illegal late-night alcohol delivery services.

Problem late night bus and train routes will also be monitored by plain clothes police officers.