Crime fighters take to the streets

City crime fighting chiefs will see at first hand crime and community safety issues, and the economic impact of the night-time economy when they take a tour of Newcastle city centre on Friday night (Nov 23).

Politicians, senior council and police officers, will take part in an annual walk around the city centre to see at first hand the issues associated with the night-time economy, and the effectiveness of initiatives designed to keep people safe.

It comes just days after the council launched a consultation to ask residents their views on where alcohol should be sold in the city, and also the number of late night takeaways there should be open after 11pm.

The council is also exploring the idea of a Late-Night Levy - a charge payable by pubs and clubs that sell alcohol between midnight and 6am, which could raise up to £400,000 a year that would go towards meeting the costs of policing, street cleaning and safety initiatives.

It would keep the city vibrant and assist the region’s economy.

The proposal will be considered by the city’s Cabinet next month.

Coun Linda Hobson, chair of the Community Safety Partnership, Safe Newcastle, said:  “We want to hear the public’s views about alcohol sales and late night takeaways in the city.

“The results will help us develop ideas to tackle local problems especially when regulating low cost alcohol and irresponsible promotions. 

“While we should consider the positive impact of the city’s night time economy we should use this opportunity to see what else needs to be done to make sure our city is safe for all visitors and is more welcoming for families and older adults.

“We will also explore, along with the new Police and Crime Commissioner Vera Baird, the possibility of introducing a Late-Night Levy which in effect will be a contribution to the council and the police towards the consequences of having a vibrant night-time economy.”

The council is reviewing its approach to the regulation of premises that sell alcohol and those that are open late at night selling food. It will also give people a chance to have broader conversations on the issue of alcohol.

Residents and business can get involved in the consultation which runs until 19 February 2013 and you can get more information and take part by visiting www.letstalknewcastle.co.uk.