There’s been much talk recently of ‘drunk tanks’ being introduced into our city centres.
These would house the inebriated overnight so the police can get on with dealing with other crimes.
On leaving in the morning, an eye-watering and sobering bill of £400 would be given to the outgoing individual.
This is intended to act as a deterrent and save the nation part of the £11bn a year that alcohol-fuelled crime currently costs.
Tony Lloyd, Police and Crime Commissioner for Greater Manchester, says: ‘Binge drinking blights towns and cities across England and Wales.’
Admittedly, taking a stroll down Guildhall Walk in Portsmouth late on a Saturday night, you’d be forgiven for thinking you’d been transported to somewhere like Syria.
But after 10 pints of Stella and seven double Jager Bombs, no-one will be thinking ‘oh, I’d better not have Jager Bomb number eight in case I end up in the drunk tank’.
People get to the point of no return and very little would be a deterrent.
In fact the chance of getting a night’s private medical care would seem quite appealing to some.
So who would decide exactly what being a ‘drunk’ is?
Is it stumbling down a kerb, sleeping in a bush or stealing a police horse and riding it bareback around Guildhall Square?
Where would it end?
Smoking costs the nation nearly £14bn a year! Some people don’t like to have smoke blown in their faces, so will the government collect smokers off the streets and put them in private medical centres and charge for the removal of tar from their lungs?
Surely the drunk tanks would end up full of tramps, who would happily drink themselves into oblivion knowing they’d get a bed for the night and that nobody could get £400 off them.
It’s a good idea in principle, but I just can’t see it working. It will end up being cancelled and forgotten about.
And everyone will go about their business again, being sick on pavements and fighting in kebab shops without the fear of a pricey sleepover.