Thursday, 30 August 2007

OXFORD: Police patrols target Cowley Road

Police patrols target Cowley Road

Insp Brian Cooper
Insp Brian Cooper

A crackdown on drink-fuelled crime in Oxford's Cowley Road area is due to take place in October, ready for the return of university students.

East Oxford police chief, Insp Brian Cooper, is planning an operation over the first two weekends of the month involving a mixture of high visibility and covert patrols.

Insp Cooper said: "Most of the antisocial behaviour in East Oxford is linked to the night-time economy. We are in the early stages of planning an operation for the beginning of October.

"It will be a double-edged attack of high-visibility and uniformed patrols to deal with incidents of antisocial behaviour and to reassure the community.

"We will be looking not just at antisocial behaviour but also criminal damage.

"We will have the new intake of students recently arrived in Oxford, and we want to set the tone for newcomers to the city but to provide them with reassurance as well. Some of them will be away from home for the first time."

He said he would be working closely with the Nightsafe team and would be drawing on resources from outside his team.

Insp Cooper, who took over the post as East Oxford inspector on July 1, is also planning to meet the landlords at all 40 licensed premises on the Cowley Road and have regular licensing visits from mid September.

He was keen to meet the people running the new Carling Academy, which is due to open towards the end of September and will replace the Zodiac.

He said: "I think it's a fantastic facility for East Oxford and is just going to enhance the night-time economy even more. Obviously it has the potential to impact on policing, but that is not a problem. We will keep an eye on whatever comes from that.

"However, I'm not expecting the clientele to cause us too much problems, but clearly there is the possibility of it impacting on crime and disorder."

A saturation policy, which would limit the number of new bars and clubs which could open in the Cowley Road area, is currently under consultation.

Insp Cooper said: "I would be absolutely supportive of a saturation policy."

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