New House of Commons figures show explosion in Suffolk drink related street crime

Tuesday, 31 October, 2006

David Ruffley MP has today expressed his deep concern at the rise in Suffolk drunk and disorderly offences since late licensing legislation came into effect.

David released the figures following his questioning of Gerry Sutcliffe, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Home Office.

The new House of Commons figures reveal that the number of fixed penalty notices issued by Suffolk police to people being found drunk and disorderly rose from 267 in 2004 to 377 in 2005.

This is an increase of 41 percent in a single year.

Across the East of England the number of penalty notices increased from 1,601 to 2,045 in the same period. In the whole of England and Wales the figure rose from 26,609 in 2004 to 37,038 in 2005.

Late licensing legislation came into effect in November 2005.

David said:

'This explosion in drink related street crime in Suffolk and the Country as a whole is a cause for deep concern.

'Late licensing laws came into effect in late 2005 yet that short period seems to have had a devastating effect on the number of people found drunk and disorderly on our streets.

'Between 2004 and 2005 there was a staggering 41 percent increase in the number of fixed penalty notices issued by Suffolk police and, given that we only saw a short period of late licensing in 2005, that figure will doubtless have shot up again in 2006.

'These figures are of particular concern for us in Suffolk, as we appear to suffer from more drink related crime than all of the other counties in the East of England apart from Essex.

'I warned when these late licensing laws came into effect that we would see an explosion in binge drinking, violent crime and public nuisance and it would seem that I have been proved correct.'

'The people of Suffolk have had enough of yob culture and they should not have to put up with drunken behaviour spiralling out of control due to this Government's irresponsible licensing legislation.'