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Spotlight on York’s night-time problems
THE effects of drunken city-centre violence on York Hospital’s A&E admissions are set to be looked at by councillors.
City of York Council’s health overview and scrutiny committee will today be asked to approve a review of the city’s “night-time economy” and the pressure crime and bad behaviour places on the hospital’s accident and emergency department, where the “peak time” for patients is between midnight and 2am.
A briefing on the issue has said that while new city-centre bars, restaurants and supermarkets have benefited York’s economy, several hotels have “poor visitor ratings” because of noise and antisocial activity, while “irresponsible” drinks promotions have caused a rise in the number of people believing the city has a “drunken yob culture”.
The scope for the committee’s review will include looking at possible health risks to residents and visitors at night and during the early hours, how violent crime and antisocial behaviour affects A&E resources, and people’s perceptions of visiting A&E. It will also study campaigns aimed at reducing “excessive drinking” which have been run in York and elsewhere in a bid to get ideas for the future.
A draft final report and recommendations are expected to be published in January, with health chiefs, hospital staff, healthcare experts and York’s Street Angels volunteers among those being consulted.
The briefing said about 14,000 people visit the city-centre between 6pm and 5am each week, with the main periods for trouble being between 6pm and 6am, particularly on Saturdays.
It said this puts families and other visitors off, and some of it is due to people drinking before heading into the centre of York.
It said the council and Visit York were drawing up a strategy aimed at doubling the amount of money tourism brings to York over a ten-year period, by getting visitors to stay longer and attracting more overnight stays.
The Safer York Partnership has also formed a group to address alcohol-fuelled crime and antisocial behaviour, including giving the police powers to seize alcohol from drinkers who cause trouble.
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