Alcohol fuels a rocketing of violence in York

PERHAPS SOMETHING of the marauding, drunken Viking still courses through the ancient city of York, but these days only the brave - or religiously driven - dare interfere with the booze-induced violence that erupts nightly in its notorious city centre thoroughfare, the Micklegate Run.

In February, four preachers warning against the evils of drink were arrested by police for their own safety as crowds spilt from the 18 pubs on to the cobbled street at closing time.

Today, at a meeting of chief constables in York, the city's police will outline drastic measures to curb the public excess that the preachers so dismally failed to dampen. Officers, shocked by figures showing that 40 per cent of arrests in the city involved alcohol, are asking that happy hours be abolished, waiter services introduced, and toughened glass brought in.

The latter measure is designed to stop drinkers smashing tumblers and shoving jagged glass in each other's faces, while it is hoped that the end of happy hour will put a stop to binge consumption and waiter service will reduce the scrum around the bar that so often leads to fighting.

Police say that 97 per cent of all assaults which take place in and around the Micklegate Run are drink-related. But even off Micklegate, drink- related crime does not disappear. There are 200 pubs and restaurants within one square mile of the city centre. Last year, more than 40 per cent of the 7,500 arrests made in the area involved alcohol.

In its attempt to persuade pubs to take on its new proposals York police are claiming a breakthrough. Greenalls Brewery has agreed to a happy hour ban and waiter service as part of its licensing application for a pounds 6m development in Micklegate. It is also prepared to install closed circuit television (CCTV) to spot troublemakers, employ police-trained bouncers and join a pub watch to warn other licensees of trouble.

The police believe they have won over Greenalls with logic. Constable Arthur Swaine, the licensing officer, said: "We persuaded the brewery it will sell more beer if it cuts down on queues at the bar and doesn't encourage binge drinking during happy hours which leads to drunkenness and violence.

"Let's face it, most well-run pubs-cum-cafe bars don't need this [happy hour]... So why not write into the licence that no discounting of alcohol is allowed." He claims rowdiness is scaring off some customers.

But a Greenalls spokeswoman, Rita Bawden, said the brewery did not need much police persuasion. "Henry's Cafe Bar [the new investment] is not intended to appeal to the Micklegate drinking circuit ... it's intended to appeal to a very different clientele."

Another proposal may also help. At today's liquor licensing conference, the Association of Chief Police Officers will be calling on the Government to allow pubs to open 24 hours to help cut drunken violence.

Allan Charlesworth, chairman of the association's liquor licensing committee, says it has been shown that late licences reduce disorder dramatically. He believes alcohol is not the main problem. "It is having large groups of people falling out on to the streets at the same time, all looking for food and taxis. You get major problems when these groups clash.

"Our experience in Liverpool and Manchester during the European football championships in 1996 - when pubs and clubs were open until 4am - was that disorder dropped by up to 40 per cent. We did not get hundreds of people spilling out on to the streets at the same time."

Mr Charlesworth supports the Government's proposals to allow round-the- clock drinking to celebrate the millennium and all subsequent new years.

PC Swaine will argue today that one of society's problems is its failure to educate young people to drink sensibly. He advocates setting up "dry pubs" as a "starting point for young people to see that licensed premises ... don't have to be beer-soaked breeding grounds for violent headbangers".

Convince them of that and we might just have progressed from the Vikings.

Suggested Topics
Sport
Brazilian fans watch the match for third place between Brazil and Netherlands
world cup 2014Brazil 0 Netherlands 3: Dutch pile on the misery in third place playoff
Sport
Robin van Persie hands his third-place medal to a supporter
Van Persie gives bronze medal to eccentric fan moments after being handed it by Blatter
Arts and Entertainment
TV The follow-up documentary that has got locals worried
Arts and Entertainment
'Deep Breath' is Peter Capaldi's first full-length adventure as the twelfth Doctor
TVFirst episode of new series has ended up on the internet
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
News
Ian Thorpe had Rio 2016 in his sights
people
Arts and Entertainment
Original Netflix series such as Orange Is The New Black are to benefit from a 'substantial' increase in investment
TVHoax announcement had caused outrage
Life and Style
Swimsuit, £245, by Agent Provocateur
fashion

Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes

News
Monkey business: Serkis is the king of the non-human character performance
peopleFirst Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Arts and Entertainment
Blackman: Landscape of children’s literature does not reflect the cultural diversity of young people
booksMalorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
News
One Direction star Harry Styles who says he has no plans to follow his pal Cara Delevingne down the catwalk.
peopleManagement confirms rumours singer is going it alone are false
Voices
Mrs Brown's Boy: D'Movie has been a huge commercial success
voicesWhen it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor
Arts and Entertainment
Curtain calls: Madani Younis
theatreMadani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Life and Style
Douglas McMaster says the food industry is ‘traumatised’
food + drinkSilo in Brighton will have just six staple dishes on the menu every day, including one meat option, one fish, one vegan, and one 'wild card'
Sport
Mario Balotelli, Divock Origi, Loic Remy, Wilfried Bony and Karim Benzema
transfersBony, Benzema and the other transfer targets
Life and Style
Once a month, waistline watcher Suran steps into a 3D body scanner that maps his body shape and records measurements with pinpoint accuracy
techFrom heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
News
Soft power: Matthew Barzun
peopleThe US Ambassador to London, Matthew Barzun, holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence. He says it's all part of the job
Sport
Joe Root and James Anderson celebrate their record-beaking partnership
cricketEngland's last-wicket stand against India rewrites the history books
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Information Security Manager (ISO 27001, Accreditation, ITIL)

£70000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Information Security Manager (ISO 27001, A...

C# Developer (HTML5, JavaScript, ASP.NET, Mathematics, Entity)

£30000 - £45000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# Developer (...

C# Integration Developer (.NET, Tibco EMS, SQL 2008/2012, XML)

£60000 - £80000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# Integration...

Biztalk - outstanding opportunity

£75000 - £85000 per annum + ex bens: Deerfoot IT Resources Limited: Biztalk Te...

Day In a Page

Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country

How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over northern Iraq

A speech by an ex-MI6 boss hints at a plan going back over a decade. In some areas, being Shia is akin to being a Jew in Nazi Germany, says Patrick Cockburn
The evolution of Andy Serkis: First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

The evolution of Andy Serkis

First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial: Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried

You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial...

Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried
Refugee children from Central America let down by Washington's high ideals

Refugee children let down by Washington's high ideals

Democrats and Republicans refuse to set aside their differences to cope with the influx of desperate Central Americas, says Rupert Cornwell
Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Malorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...

Blackest is the new black

Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

The US Ambassador to London holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence – it's all part of the job, he tells Chris Green
Meet the Quantified Selfers: From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor

Meet the 'Quantified Selfers'

From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
Madani Younis: Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Madani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

When it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish – among others – know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor
Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy: Was the otter man the wildlife champion he appeared to be?

Otter man Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy

The aristocrat's eccentric devotion to his pets inspired a generation. But our greatest living nature writer believes his legacy has been quite toxic
Joanna Rowsell: The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia

Joanna Rowsell: 'I wear my wig to look normal'

The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef gives raw ingredients a lift with his quick marinades

Bill Granger's quick and delicious marinades

Our chef's marinades are great for weekend barbecuing, but are also a delicious way of injecting flavour into, and breaking the monotony of, weekday meals
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014 preview: Why Brazilians don't love their neighbours Argentina any more

Anyone but Argentina – why Brazilians don’t love their neighbours any more

The hosts will be supporting Germany in today's World Cup final, reports Alex Bellos
The Open 2014: Time again to ask that major question - can Lee Westwood win at last?

The Open 2014

Time again to ask that major question - can Lee Westwood win at last?