Operation Phoenix A Continued Success

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Operation Phoenix A Continued Success

Posted: 30/05/2008 16:28:27

The success of Operation Phoenix, an operation launched back in September to tackle issues such as alcohol-related disorder and anti-social behaviour in Wellington and Oakengates, has once again been hailed.

Having now run for almost eight months, the operation looks set to continue for the foreseeable future. Speaking about the success of Operation Phoenix, Local Policing Support Sergeant Paul Franks said:

"The main purpose of the operation has been to reduce alcohol related violent crime in the hotspots of Wellington and Oakengates town centres on Friday and Saturday evenings. It also aimed to make the two town centres safer and more welcoming locations for people to enjoy a night out. Feedback we have received from the public has supported the work that we have done.

“A thread on the Messageboard on the Pussycats Nightclub website recently showed that around 80% of those people that passed comment on the subject welcomed the additional police presence in Wellington on Friday and Saturday nights.

“I’m also pleased to report that since the start of 2008 there have been only 22 ABH offences linked to Operation Phoenix in Oakengates, which compares favourably to the 34 ABH offences during the corresponding period, (January 1st – May 21st), in 2007 before Phoenix began.

“During the same period offences of disorderly behaviour have increased from 5 in 2007 to 27 this year, but we believe this to be a positive sign as it shows that more minor offences are being dealt with before they escalate into a more serious incident.”

Paul Homersley, Telford Police’s Licensing Officer, said:

“Great credit must go to the majority of licensees in the two town centres as they have co-operated with us extremely well and welcomed the additional patrols that we have had on duty.

“They have acknowledged that we have been trying to ensure that the facilities that they offer can be enjoyed in a safe and responsible manner rather than looking to have an adverse effect on the way their businesses are run.

“However, we have been willing to take action against any licensed premises that have refused to co-operate and continually caused us problems. For example, Brileigh’s Nightclub in Oakengates had its licence revoked earlier this year following an operation run by Telford Police.

“Despite dialogue over the course of almost 18 months they continued to sell alcohol in an irresponsible manner to underage drinkers and those who were already drunk. This eventually led to us taking the matter before the council’s licensing committee who, after hearing the evidence, decided to take the strongest possible action and revoke their licence.

“We will continue to closely monitor where problems are occurring and will continue to be robust in our action against the small minority of venues that fail to work with us.”

Sergeant Franks continued:

“The aim of Operation Phoenix is in no way to stop people having people having fun, as everyone is entitled to go out and have a good time. We do believe however that they shouldn't have to run the risk of being injured and becoming the victim of crime.

“By focusing police officer patrols in key areas at the relevant times we are confident that we have prevented disorder. Although arrests and reported incidents have increased at certain times that is simply because we have had additional officers on duty to deal with offenders and ensure that incidents are diffused before that have the chance to get out of control.

“I would like to once again remind the public that those people who can't have a good time without becoming drunk, abusive and aggressive will be dealt with by the police. These individuals continue to run the risk of receiving a minimum £80 Fixed Penalty fine on the street or being arrested, spending the night in the cells and going to court charged with an offence."

Permalink: http://www.thesite.co.uk/viewnewsstory.asp?newsid=2432

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