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Alcohol disorder scheme praised

20 October 09 15:10 GMT

A scheme to reduce alcohol-fuelled disorder in Newquay has been praised by the government.

Home Office staff visited the town over two days and spoke to residents, police officers and council staff involved in the Newquay Safe Partnership.

The Home Office workers said it was one of the "most solid" partnerships they had come across.

Pubs, clubs and off-licences work with the partnership to tackle the causes of alcohol-related disorder.

Cornwall Council, the police and local organisations work together to find ways of minimising the risks to drunk people in Newquay's town centre.

Under-age drinking has also been tackled and all of the pubs and clubs have signed up to the "Challenge 21" protocol on identification.

In June and July 2009 two young men died after falling off cliffs in the town. The police put both deaths down to alcohol.

Shireen Higgins's 16-year-old son, Paddy, died after falling down cliffs on to Tolcarne beach. She called on parents to boycott the town.

Shortly after her son's death in July she said: "Newquay is not a safe place for teenagers to go to celebrate their freedom after their exams; the cliffs are too high and too unfenced."

The Newquay Safe Partnership is now improving fencing along the cliffs and new safety signs are also being put up.

A "designated public spaces" order is being set up to cover the whole town and surrounding areas. It will give police the power to confiscate alcohol and stop on-street drinking.

These measures and many others were praised by the Home Office officials, who said: "This is one of the most solid partnerships we have come across.

"The strong personal and corporate commitment is second-to-none.

"Every other area in the country could learn from what is being done in Newquay - it is a real eye-opener."

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