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The BBC's June Kelly
"Kerb crawling could become an arrestable offence"
 real 56k

Sunday, 19 November, 2000, 06:20 GMT
Yob culture crackdown planned
Police arrest a street drinker in Glasgow
Police will get new powers against alcohol-fueled crime
Yob culture, kerb crawlers and irresponsible pub landlords are to be targeted in a new crime clampdown understood to be under consideration by the government.

Police powers to issue fixed penalty notices for a range of low level 'Saturday night disorder' offences are among the possible new measures.

The fresh strategy will form part of the Queen's Speech which marks the new session of Parliament beginning next month.

Prostitute talks to kerb crawler
Kerb crawlers will be a major target of any new proposals
Ministers have already indicated that tackling crime is likely to form the centrepiece of what could be their last legislative programme before the general election.

The fixed penalty notices would either be issued on the spot, giving the offender 30 days to pay, or at a police station if the person has been arrested.

The aim is to free up officers from time-consuming paperwork involved in dealing with offenders more formally.

But there will be no use of Prime Minister Tony Blair's idea, floated in July, that police should be given powers to take drunken louts to a cash machine and pay 100 on-the-spot fines.

That proposal was rejected by the police as impractical.

Disorderly pubs

In an extension of the strategy to reduce alcohol-fuelled crime it is believed police could also be given powers to close down disorderly pubs.

In a separate move designed to clean up inner city 'red light' areas, kerb crawling could become an arrestable offence.

Currently people cruising streets by car in search of prostitutes are stopped by police, have their details taken and possibly receive a court summons through the post.

Also under consideration are moves to regulate the pub and club security industry with licensing arrangements for bouncers.

Yobbish behaviour

The aim is to crack down on those involved in criminal activity.

Ministers believe that after the recent focus on car crime and burglary there should now be new measures to deal with anti-social yobbish behaviour.

On Friday, the Prime Minister's official spokesman said that the Queen's Speech would reflect the government's determination to have a "very very strong focus on crime".

It would include the first major Bill to "tackle the yob culture and deal with disorder", he added.

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See also:

23 Jul 00 | UK Politics
Young offenders may lose licences
03 Jul 00 | UK Politics
Blair backs down on fining 'louts'
02 Jul 00 | UK Politics
'Thug pubs' targeted
01 Jul 00 | UK Politics
Police concern at yob fines
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