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Old Kent Road alcohol ‘saturation zone’ consultation planned

Residents and business on the Old Kent Road are to be consulted on the creation of a 'saturation zone' for licensed premises.

Members of Southwark Council's licensing committee met on Tuesday night to consider crime statistics for 'violence against the person' in the Old Kent Road.

There are 36 licensed premises in the Old Kent Road – just over 3 per cent of the Southwark total – but more than 5 per cent of the borough's recorded late-night violent crime takes place in the area with 33 incidents in the six months to May 2008.

Now a three-month consultation with local residents and businesses will be held which will include a special public meeting in the area.

The effect of a saturation policy, if implemented, would be that no further licences will be granted to similar premises unless the applicant can demonstrate that the licensing of their premises will not add to the problems that have already been identified.

Last year the council held a consultation on a similar policy for the Shad Thames area but a final decision has been put on hold following a fall in recorded alcohol-related disorder in that area.

At the Tuesday night meeting committee members also asked officers to provide more information about alcohol-related crime in Borough & Bankside for consideration at a future meeting.

The committee was shown a 'hotspot map' of late-night violent crime in Southwark which indicated particularly high levels of violence against the person around Borough High Street and St George's Circus.

At the same meeting the licensing committee decided not to proceed with a consultation exercise for a saturation policy at the Elephant & Castle.

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