Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Strathclyde Police start crackdown on glass attacks by wanting the licence trade to move over to toughen glass to protect public safety, long overdue

Dear All

Public safety is important to the Police.

One of the problems in Scotland is the binge drinking culture which in some cases leads to violence.

The West of Scotland has always had a reputation as a hard drinking culture.

Thugs fuelled up on drink pick up the nearest weapon to hand and in the space of a few seconds can cause horrifying damage.

Now, the Police are sending out a warning that they want to limit the damage done by ‘glassing’.

To that end Bars and nightclubs in the west of Scotland are being put on notice that they will face closure if they refuse to use toughened glasses.

Such a move by business makes sense now just from a safety point of view but also a financial point of view as well.

Most people go out to enjoy themselves and not to cause trouble, but like most places there are always people that like to cause trouble because they like hurting people.

Strathclyde Police are taking the step of writing to licence holders telling them if an attack with a glass occurs in their premises and the owners ignored the police call, they will attempt to have the premises closed down.

Assistant Chief Constable Ruaraidh Nicolson also makes the point that Scotland’s new liquor laws for special hearings will be used.

The policy is to move to toughen glass is sensible as Glasgow bars have been using toughened glass for some which has made a difference.

It is only logical that this policy should be rolled out across the rest of the Starthclyde area.

It is a policy that has public support.

Nicolson’s letter states:

“Future glassing incidents in or in the immediate vicinity of licensed premises will be carefully scrutinised by the police and where it is found that premises have made no effort in relation to the replacement of annealed glass drinking vessels with a similar, acceptable and safer product, then consideration will be given to applying to the board for a premises review in terms of the prevention of crime and securing public safety objectives of the Licensing (Scotland) Act 2005. In summary, I do not expect every glass drinking vessel to be toughened, but where there is an equivalent product available, made from toughened glass or other suitable safety material, it would be expected that the premises would use the safer product. I would expect the changeover to a safer product to be carried out as soon as reasonably practicable, in an effort to reduce any future incidents to a minimum in the short and longer term.”

Having read this, it takes into account that there is a wiliness to be reasonable regarding time for this change over.

Chief Inspector Stuart Neil, Strathclyde’s head of licensing hits the nail on the head when he states:

“Prevention is better than cure.”

At the end of the day, public safety must win out over intransigence.

It is a good policy.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

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