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Last Updated: Saturday, 11 February 2006, 11:24 GMT
MP's violent crime fears for town
Police were out in force as extended pub opening came in
Police detaining a woman
An MP fears Bournemouth is in danger of becoming the "Faliraki of the south coast" after new police figures showed violent crime there had risen by 15%.

The crime hike at the resort is in contrast to Home Office figures for England and Wales, which showed violent crime fell 11% at the end of 2005.

Tobias Ellwood, Tory MP for Bournemouth East, said Bournemouth should remain a "family town" - attractive to all ages.

But he acknowledged that night life was an important part of the local economy.

Binge-drinking is a relatively new menace in Britain and these new licensing laws compound the problem rather than help tackle it
Tobias Ellwood, MP for Bournemouth East

The tourist resort on the Greek island of Rhodes has become notorious for its hedonistic life-style, binge-drinking and wild parties.

Mr Ellwood said: "While Bournemouth's night life is an important part of our local economy, it must not overshadow those other aspects of our town which make Bournemouth an attractive place to live, work or visit.

"Binge-drinking is a relatively new menace in Britain and these new licensing laws compound the problem rather than help tackle it.

"Bournemouth should remain a family town that's attractive to people of all ages.

"We do not want to become the Faliraki of the south coast."

However, Mr Ellwood said it was too early to judge the impact of the new 24-drinking licensing laws.

Violent crime, including anti-social behaviour and harassment, has also increased by 13% in Dorset.

The Dorset Police statistics compare October to December last year with the same three-month period in 2004.

A total of 2,929 violent crimes took place in Dorset in 2004, compared with 3,299 in 2005.

In Bournemouth, 1,179 violent crimes were recorded in 2004, compared with 1,350 last year.




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