No restriction to alcohol sales in Kingston

Kingston Council has thrown out plans to prevent the sale of alcohol after 3am in the town centre.

An early morning alcohol ban was deemed unnecessary by the council due to the lack of evidence that it would reduce crime in the area.

Councilor Chrissie Hitchcock, Chair of the licensing committee, said: “I often walk and come through [the town centre] late at night on my way home from work and I have never been threatened.  I have never been intimidated.”

Statistics provided by Kingston Police showed that 33 per cent of violent crimes in Kingston occurred in the Grove Ward area – which covers the town centre. Of these crimes 25 per cent took place between 3am-4am.

The committee argued that the order would not cut crime in the area, as the crime would still occur whenever bars and nightclubs closed.

Councilor Sharon Hartley called for more statistics to be provided that could be compared to different areas of London and the UK.

Despite the call for alcohol restrictions Kingston Police admitted that figures taken from the last financial year showed that Kingston had seen the greatest reduction of violent crime in the MET.

The council decided that it would look again at the ban in a year if the police could provide more “detailed and focused evidence” to support the order.

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