He added: “We should also be able to tackle the off-trade by refusing an application on grounds of cumulative impact ... the way we can do with the on-trade.
“People in the Elswick area of my city have told us that there are far too many off-licences and this leads to anti-social behaviour. Shockingly, we’ve had to explain to them that there’s little we can do about it because we don’t have enough powers to regulate the ones we have or even ensure through the planning process that no more are allowed to open.”
Northumbria Police have been forced to defend their work in the city in face of the criticism.
Chief superintendent Gary Calvert said: “We are well aware that there are issues around alcohol in some areas of the city and this is not unique to Newcastle. Areas across the country are dealing with the same concerns.
“We know what the issues are that affect our communities and where and when they happen.
“This is because officers at all levels do listen carefully to frontline staff on the ground on a daily basis to ensure the force is fully informed of the situation. In addition to this, we listen carefully to residents and work closely with partner agencies to make sure we are tackling the issues of most concern to our communities,” he said. “Initiatives are ongoing across Newcastle and the force to tackle the effects of alcohol misuse.”
I want senior officers to listen more to beat officers about the effect alcohol is having