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06 Mar 2009

Booze-fuelled crime put on Wakefield police hitlist

RISING drink-related crime affecting Wakefield businesses was highlighted this week as police pledged to tackle the problem. Businesses on Westgate has been suffering from empty bottles, cans and pizza boxes left by drunken revellers, a problem many shopkeepers feel is on the increase.

Restaurants often feel powerless to deal with customers who turn up drunk on a night out and refuse to pay for their food.     

 

At the first meeting of Westgate Business Forum on Monday, Marcello Moccia, owner of hairdressers Room 97, said: "The problem has significantly increased in the last few months." He said broken glass often had to be swept up in the morning and pizza boxes had been shoved through letter boxes. Council-operated CCTV was installed near the shop. But Mr Moccia added: "We have had several incidents when CCTV has been pointing in the wrong direction or has not been working."  Coun Betty Rhodes said she would investigate why cameras had not picked up people causing the problem.   Wei Meng, manager of Mama Gui Chinese restaurant, on Westgate, said: "I don't understand why people go to a restaurant and then just won't pay and run off." 

 

Chief Insp Dean Henson encouraged businesses to work together to tackle the problem under city centre crime initiative, Stay Safe.  He encouraged businesses to share information with police. "We need to promote responsible drinking," he told the meeting at Mumbai Indian restaurant.

 

Article taken from Wakefield Express

 
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