London clubbers may face breathalyser test as Met Police attempt crackdown on violent crime

Scheme has been trialled in Croydon but officers are waiting for funding before go-ahead for six further buroughs

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The Independent Online

London clubbers may face being breathalysed at the doors of venues in a new Met police initiative to crackdown on drink-related violence.

The Metropolitan police have trialled a pilot scheme in Croydon that allows doormen to breathalyse party-goers at the entrance to clubs and are hoping to roll out the scheme across six boroughs in the capital.

Officers hope that the initiative, which will be set at twice the legal driving limit, will cut down on binge-drinking or ‘pre-loading’.

Although crime rates across London are falling, the number of violent offences has increased up to 39 per cent in some boroughs and officers believe the rise may be explained by an increase in drink-related violence in town centres.

Chief Inspector Gary Taylor told the Evening Standard: “The breathalyser helps to reduce the number of arguments when door staff refuse entry to someone who is intoxicated.

“In the past door staff would get involved in long arguments with people who were refused entry. People who were arguing with staff were more likely to accept the results of the breathalyser.”

Two devices are currently being trialled in Havering, which covers Romford town centre, and Croydon council has purchases six more breathalysers which will be in use from February.

In a statement given to The Independent, a Met police spokesperson said: “Early anecdotal evidence suggests the trial had positive results with the venues supportive of the devices.

“The venues reported fewer altercations caused by intoxicated customers attempting to gain entry and consequently a reduction in the potential for alcohol related disorder to take place inside their premises.”