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Swindon renews cumulative impact zone Published Date: 15/04/2024

Swindon Borough Council’s licensing committee has extended the council's "cumulative impact assessment" for three years, after police said it was helping to cut crime.

The BBC reported that a council report said it was not a "blanket ban", but could be used to refuse applications where they could be "harmful".

The report stated that "each application must be considered on its own merits".

It continued: “However, it could be used to refuse applications or variations, where their impact is considered to be harmful, unless the applicant can demonstrate that the licensing objectives will not be undermined.”

It added: “It has been proven that the CIA has been invaluable in dealing with new and changing licensing applications in the Broadgreen area.

“Previously there had been a saturation of off licences in this area with increased complaints of crime and disorder.

“Since the introduction of the CIA, the number of new and existing premises has fallen. It is believed that the licensing objectives of of prevention of crime and disorder and ensuring public safety have been protected.”

Figures supplied by Wiltshire Police show there were 49 recorded alcohol-related incidents and 82 crimes in the areas in 2019, dropping to 47 incidents and 60 crimes in the lockdown-affected year of 2020.

In 2023 the figures were 46 incidents and 60 crimes.

The council report state: “The number of crimes and incidents relating to alcohol in the area has remained stable since 2020. This indicates that the current CIA is working."

The council carried out a consultation of residents and businesses inside and outside of the Broadgreen area.

Of those who responded 85 per cent wanted the current impact assessment policy to be continued.

One respondent said: “There needs to some regulatory measures in place to control the levels of anti-social behaviour associated with certain products that can be obtained easily over the counter. Broadgreen has always had a bad reputation for certain types of petty crime any measures to curb or manage it is going to be helpful, especially where the night- time economy is concerned.”

The policy has been renewed for another three years when it will be reviewed again.