‘Let’s bring back the old drunk tanks’

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the messy aftermath too many of us have to pass on the way to work “the morning after the night before” is so common that we barely give it a second look.

Smashed shop windows, pavements covered in glass, urine or vomit – these are the everyday signs of what some people thought construed a good night out on the town.

But how many of us passers-by, to say nothing of those mindless revellers, ever give a thought to those left to pick up the pieces?

Take Fauns Reid, who faces a £900 bill every time some yob takes a drunken kick at one of the windows in her Cowgate hat shop.

Or think of the refuse workers left to clear the debris before someone innocently going about their business slips or cuts themselves on it.

And that’s to say nothing of the emergency workers who have to sort out the drunks themselves – and unfortunately in cities like Edinburgh this is no longer restricted to blowing off a bit of steam at weekends.

Decent-minded folk have long had enough of such antisocial behaviour, and politicians of all parties regularly talk of recriminations and promise to get tough.

Yet successive governments and councils have shied away from hardline action once in power.

There is a place for the softly, softly approach – for a start, we need to change attitudes to drinking with the sort of educational programmes which convinced most of us to shun the sort of idiot who drink drives.

But it is also time to stop cossetting drunks and instead hit them with massive fines which could help repair the damage they do. That will make abusers pay, not hit sensible, peaceable drinkers through plans like minimum pricing.

Let’s start by bringing back the old drunk tanks for yobs – and they can clear up the mess on the streets on their way to court in the morning.

Criminal minds

every year the Darwin Awards recognise people who have died in such a dumb way that they enriched the gene pool by removing themselves from it.

Perhaps a new version should be created, just for criminals. First nominee: David Williamson, facing jail after telling police his cannabis plants had been stolen.

And John Wilson, found guilty of breach of the peace – but not assault – after confronting Celtic boss Neil Lennon . . . live on television.

Unfortunately, the dafties don’t always get caught, like the thieves who broke into a school’s changing rooms while scores of budding coppers were there. But we predict they’ll be up for an award one day.