Leicester

PCC Sir Clive Loader wants old pub closing times reinstated

Sir Clive Loader
Image caption Sir Clive Loader is set to retire after the PCC elections are held in May

Late-night drinking in England and Wales should be banned, according to the outgoing police and crime commissioner (PCC) in Leicestershire.

Conservative Sir Clive Loader, a retired RAF Air Chief Marshal, was elected as the county's first PCC in 2012.

He believes allowing people to drink later is putting a strain on the county's police and hospital services.

He said he was "appalled" at the behaviour of some people at weekends.

When asked if he believed the law should be changed, he said: "Yes, I do. I would like us to go back to something that looks like a closing time."

'Not a killjoy'

Prior to the introduction of new rules in 2005, most pubs were obliged to close at 11pm unless they had a special licence extension.

Sir Clive said: "The police have to put on a lot of extra people on a Friday night, assaults go up fourfold - I think we should be doing more to look after our youngsters.

"I'm not a killjoy... but I don't think we need places open, as we do in the city, until six or seven in the morning - I don't think that's looking after the people who do the drinking.

"I'm appalled that the very people who are helping those who have had too much to drink, they assault them - they assault nurses and doctors."

He said there should be a national debate about the issue.

As the police and crime commissioner for the county, Sir Clive is responsible for setting priorities for the force and overseeing its budget.

He said he was proud of his work to set up the county's first youth commission, which gives younger people a say in how they are being policed.

He also said that police forces in the East Midlands were sharing more resources through a "strategic alliance", but a full merger was not imminent.

"I think it'll probably happen in the next 10 or 15 years, I really do, and because of the way crime is going," Sir Clive said.

"[Crime] can be so complex and international, crossing not just force borders but national borders, so I think the move is generally in that direction.

"The trick will be to get the balance right and not losing sight of the fact that you need eyes and ears on the ground at estates in Leicester city and farms in Rutland."

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