Drunk tanks would help police fight 'real' crime
DRUNK tanks will not be a part of Gloucester's night life until more information is available on their success.
Under the plans, drinkers who get so intoxicated they cannot look after themselves would be cared for in commercially-run holding cells until they sober up.
They could be charged up to £400 as well as fined for being drunk and disorderly.
Chairman of the city's Nightsafe group, Jennie Dallimore, was cautious about backing the move.
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"In principle, it would seem a good idea, but we would need to know more about it before it could be discussed as an option for Gloucester," she said.
"There are people who drink heavily before they come into Gloucester who are determined to cause chaos. There are others who may, for a number of reasons, find they have drunk too much and are vulnerable.
"The criteria for those entering a drunk tank would need to be made clearer."
Police believe a commercially-run scheme would help curb binge drinking, freeing up officers to tackle crime.
Deputy Chief Constable for Gloucestershire Constabulary Rod Hansen welcomed new ideas to reduce pressure on police.
"We already work closely with partner agencies such as the street pastors and taxi marshalls to ensure those who have drunk to excess are appropriately dealt with.
"But at a time when the police are working hard to do more with less, it can be a drain on police time and resources.
"All too often, officers have to clean up after those who, through alcohol abuse, have not taken responsibility for themselves.
"We'd prefer our officers to be tackling crime and serving the public of Gloucestershire."
Bar owners backing the plans said licensees also have a responsibility.
Mark Watts, manger of Voltage in Brunswick Road, said: "If we get someone come to the bar and they are clearly too drunk, we don't let them in.
"It is probably best that they are taken away and not left on the streets. When they are drunk they will probably cause fights on the streets."