Action being taken to tackle trouble in Scunthorpe town centre at night
"WE DON'T want the minority spoiling it for the majority" is the key message being sent out by recently appointed licensing officer for the south bank, Lisa Vines.
Banning lists, 48-hour exclusion orders, schemes targeting under-age drinkers, drug and mobile phone theft operations and regulation of drink offers are just some of the measures in place to help keep Scunthorpe safe during the night-time economy.
Latest figures show that North Lincolnshire is now meeting its year-on-year target for recorded violence with injury in North Lincolnshire, following a spike last summer.
It is now down by four per cent between April 2012 and February 2013 compared with the same period the previous year.
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In February, there were 71 recorded offences, compared with 82 in January and 89 in December.
But the number of public order arrests in North Lincolnshire in February was 30 compared with 26 in January and 28 in December.
And the number of arrests for being drunk and disorderly in February was 10, compared with nine in January and five in December.
To try to rid the town of troublemakers, officers are now handing out so-called section 27 orders – which can ban yobs from the town centre for two nights.
These notices give police officers the power to give a direction to any individual aged 16 years or over in a public place to leave the area.
The direction stops the offender returning to a specific area for up to 48 hours.
Ms Vines said: "The offender is issued with a direction to leave and a map. They are advised of the areas they are not permitted to enter for the specific length of time.
"We follow them up with a visit from a special constable explaining the implications of what they have done.
"They can also refer them to community alcohol services and get support for them.
"They can be up to 48 hours and given a map that tells them where they are not allowed to go.
"We keep their details on a log. Causing a nuisance during your ban can lead to you being arrested for public order."
Anyone who does not comply could face a fine of up to £2,500 or face being arrested and charged with public disorder.
Cheap booze is part of the problem behind binge drinking in town centres.
Ms Vines concedes that pubs and clubs are facing difficult times and, in order to try to attract customers, cheaper drinks offers are often used.
But she said it was about striking a balance to ensure this does not lead to an increase in antisocial behaviour.
"We do speak with licensees and engage with them, as it's about working with them rather than coming down on them," she said.
"You are always going to get these offers.
"We work with North Lincolnshire Council, the premises holders and door supervisors to make sure people are drinking safely."
Last summer saw a spike in the number of violent crime incidents – many of which were linked to alcohol.
Inspector Jayne Broughton said work had already been carried out to prepare for the summer ahead.
"Violence and alcohol do go together, but it is often when people go out on the streets or go home that the problems happen," she said.
"We do have an increase when people are out drinking. In the summer they drink for longer and more often, so we do monitor that."
To get to grips with town centre issues, regular pub watch meetings are held in the town involving police, officials from crime prevention group Safer Neighbourhoods, door staff and representatives from North Lincolnshire Council to help keep an eye on what is going on.
Ms Vines said: "We are in a real economic downturn, but traders are trying to make business.
"It is important that we work closely with the local authority and the licence holders and talk through what they are doing.
"They are there to run a business and we need to support that.
"Pub Watch is done voluntarily by the owners. We are just there to support it and this is a good opportunity to work together at getting rid of the minority."
Police are also determined to win the fight against under-age drinking.
They warn that anyone caught using fake identification, or found to have given their ID to someone under age, is committing a crime.
Inspector Broughton said: "We need to make the patrons aware of their responsibility regarding under-age drinking and challenging it.
"We keep a record of people and if their name crops up again, then criminal proceedings could start."
But while antisocial problems have to be tackled, the ultimate aim is to make the town centre safer.
Ms Vines said that all measures were taken to make Scunthorpe a place for visitors to come and enjoy themselves.
"We want to encourage more people to come out and enjoy themselves in Scunthorpe and if you feel safe, then you will bring your friends and have a good night here more often," she said.
"We want to encourage people to come out and spend and be sensible, which you will not do if you feel at risk.
"I want to go out and not worry about violent crime when I go out."