The Southampton Federation of Residents’ Associations had a meeting on 5th March entitled “Open All Hours” about the prospect of 24 hour opening of public houses under proposed legislation. One of the two speakers was John Heyworth, a consultant in the A & E Department at Southampton General Hospital which deals with 70,000 patients a year.

Alcohol is the key thing that is making life difficult. On Friday and Saturday nights there are a large number of young men who subject the staff to intolerable verbal abuse and actual physical violence. He was very keen on any measures that would reduce the problem. The evidence suggested that 24 hour opening would neither make things worse nor better. The other speaker was Inspector Kelvin Taylor who heads the police licencing team of himself and 3 constables. There has been an explosion in the number of licenced premises in the City but without any increase in resources of police, ambulances etc. He said that the vast majority who come into the City at weekends do not cause problems. But there is no quick fix for the problems we face.

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