Colin Skelton, the independent candidate for the role of Police and Crime Commissioner has committed to tackling anti-social behaviour across Wiltshire. In particular, anti-social behaviour associated with our night-time economy and alcohol fuelled violence.Colin has now met with Police Officers, Paramedics, Street pastors and NHS staff to talk with them about anti-social behaviour and how it has affected them, their lives and families.
In Swindon, Colin met and talked with police Officers who described being sworn at, assaulted and threatened by extremely drunk people whilst they are maintaining the peace in the Old Town, Swindon.
In Salisbury, Colin has met with Paramedics, one of whom told him about being punched to the ground whilst trying to stop a man from bleeding and NHS staff described the stress they went through whilst dealing with the regular Friday and Saturday night influx of drunk and violent people to the hospital. One nurse described being threatened by a violent drunk and was so upset they had a week off work as a result.
Colin said “it’s clear to me from my own experience as a Police Officer and from what staff in our emergency services have told me; that we have a serious issue with anti-social behaviour and especially, with alcohol fuelled violence during the weekends. We have allowed our major towns and cities to become virtual “no-go” areas for families and ordinary people and I think that is wrong”.
Colin also talked with the Street Pastors working in Salisbury and members of Pub watch in Swindon to discuss the contribution the Pub Industry and the Church is making towards solving this problem.
Colin said “The voluntary, church and drinks industry have made great strides in preventing anti-social behaviour. Groups such as the Street Pastors help to defuse situations and do a great job. The Community Safety Partnerships and Pub Watch schemes promote responsible drinking and have reduced the scale of the problem. They are to be commended but I don’t think we should lose sight of the remaining problem.”
Colin continued “One of the striking things for me is that each weekend we expect our emergency services to stand up against this tide of unruly violent behaviour. As a society we should be standing with them and supporting them and I would do that if elected to be Commissioner. Places such as New Zealand have had great success in tackling this problem by staggering closing times and restricting the sale of high alcohol drinks after 10pm. These measures reduced A&E admissions by 25% in New South Wales I would investigate these innovative ideas to see if they would work here.”
Colin has produced a detailed Policing manifesto for Wiltshire which can be downloaded from his campaign website at www.skelton4wiltspcc.co.uk