BRAWLS in the streets, vomit on the pavement, and the odd drinker choosing to urinate in a doorway – all common sights in any city centre on a weekend night out.
But these problems are becoming a thing of the past in Hull city centre, with alcohol-related violence continuing to reduce and police claiming the area is the safest it has even been.
Just two years ago, Judge Jeremy Richardson QC criticised the "gratuitous violence" that plagues innocent people trying to enjoy a night out in Hull.
Police Sergeant Ian Goode, of the public order and licensing department, strongly disagrees and says the police are winning the battle against the drunks.
"I remember the story and totally disagreeing with it," he said.
"At the time of his comments, we had decreased violent crime and disorder by 26 per cent compared with the previous year.
"The judge was misguided in what he said. The case he heard was alcohol-related but the general picture is that we've been getting better.
"I've been with the police here for 23 years and it's the safest it's ever been in Hull city centre.
"There are problems with alcohol, there will always be problems with alcohol but, at the minute, Hull is a safe and vibrant place to visit.
"We've got to understand there is less money out there, so not as many people are going out in Hull city centre.
"But, most importantly, instead of everyone pulling in different directions, we work under the same banner – bar staff, operators, door staff, CCTV, street marshals, street angels, NHS and drug dependency agency working together to address the problems."
The Mail was invited to join Humberside Police to see the problems faced by officers on the other side of the bar on Friday and Saturday evenings.
Alcohol-related crimes can make up as much as 50 per cent of all crimes, according to Sgt Goode, and proves a big strain on police and NHS resources.
"Without a doubt, drunken behaviour is a drain on resources," he said.
"When people drink irresponsibly, somebody has to pick up the pieces and, generally, it is the police and the NHS.
"Without a doubt, the way drinking has evolved in the last ten to 15 years has put a massive strain, not just on policing but the health service and the country in general.
"No longer do people go out at 7pm at night and steadily have a few drinks and finish at 11pm.
"Now, because of the cheaper pricing of alcohol unit, they will pre-load at home, drink far too much and then they'll drop into town when they are already drunk."
At the police station, behind Sgt Goode, is a wall planner that has notes of all the events taking place in Hull city centre, along with several green and red dots.
"The green dots are on pay days and the red dots are full moons," he said.
"From my experience, when I worked in custody when a full moon is out, it does affect some people's behaviour."
Sgt Goode talks passionately about the successful campaigns and the need to keep the foot on the gas in the battle against drunks looking to cause trouble in the city centre.
Anyone drunk entering the city will be sent home and more than 115 city centre banning orders have been handed to troublemakers – more than any other city in the country.
Last weekend there were also dogs brought in to sniff out drugs. Underage children were also sent out to bars as part of a test purchase operation. And these are just a few of the campaigns under way.
But a major part of the battle is to also help the offenders change their ways and address their problems.
"People know we take a zero- tolerance approach to alcohol- related crime and disorder in the city centre," he said.
"There is no second chance. If someone comes out at 8.30pm and they're drunk and they're playing up, there are two ways that it is going to go.
"They're the same person that, at 11.30pm, is either going to be picking on someone for a fight or they are so far drunk they're going to become a victim.
"I think the major weapon that we have at the minute is the Section 27 notice from the Violent Crime Reduction Act that allows us to get to people early and prevent problems as soon as they start or if we think they are going to start.
"We can use that power to get people out of the city centre."
Anyone receiving the notice is given a red card and banned from the city centre for up to 48 hours.
"Slowly but surely, the public of Hull know they can't come into the city and act like they did in the late 1980s and early 1990s," he said.
"Overall, people are better behaved.
"I go from old police officer stories who say it was a wild west town in the late 1980s.
"Even when I joined in 1991, when the pubs shut at 11pm, at 10.30pm, we put all the patrols at the bus stop for the last bus because all hell used to break out."
The partnership approach is evident on Friday evening, with two licensing enforcement officers from Hull City Council working with the police, checking taxis and people coming into the city centre.
Within minutes of patrolling the city centre, one taxi driver is pulled over and his work is suspended for the weekend because he has two bald tyres.
Despite his early finish, the taxi driver welcomes the police checks.
He said: "I've been driving in Hull city centre for four years and I welcome these checks on taxis and the work of the police. Hull is safer.
"I'm glad they've picked up on the tyres for my safety. I am surprised, though, as I'm always checking."
He is one of 40 taxis stopped over the weekend. Twenty are found to have vehicle defects – with problems such as headlights out or brake lights out.
Two have their weekend work suspended because of bald tyres.
Taxi drivers are also given a special mobile phone number for the police on a Friday and Saturday night to report bogus taxis, fights and any crimes.
Even revellers in the new town area of Hull are quick to praise the police's work.
Katie Sansan, 21, of Anlaby Road, says she has noticed a difference and feels safer.
"There are not as many fights around Hull city centre on a Friday and Saturday evening," she said.
"I do see lots of police around and it does make me feel safer."
The police do not rest on their laurels and are constantly looking for new ideas to keep visitors to the city centre safe and troublemakers out.
"We're always trying new ideas," said Sgt Goode.
"One we are looking at, at the minute is school-leavers. Each June and July, we get a new generation of school-leavers who think that just because they've left school they can come into town after drinking at home and go straight into clubs.
"We are looking at how we can address that and let them know how they're lives can be affected.
"We are always looking ahead of the game. As soon as you stop, you start losing."
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