Police stage alcohol awareness weekend

Officers on the beat at night in Northampton
Officers on the beat at night in Northampton

Alcohol-fuelled crime is continuing to drain police resources despite a national campaign launched a year ago to tackle binge drinking – a senior police officer has said.

Northamptonshire Police Chief Constable Adrian Lee is the National policing lead on alcohol harm and said in a 24 hour “snapshot” of reported crimes in the county, 27 per cent of incidents were alcohol related, excluding weekend drinking reports.

Chief Constable Lee said: “We have seen increased efforts in the last 12 months from the alcohol industry and licensed venues to tackle excessive drinking, but these efforts have barely scratched the surface of a problem that is blighting our communities.”

As part of the campaign, a drunk tank is being installed in Corby in time for Christmas.

The drunk tank, which police have dubbed a welfare centre, will look after people in a secure location until they have sobered up.

Chief Constable Lee said people could be referred to the welfare centre by A&E staff or brought there by officers.

He added: “The idea is to tackle the problem on the street and reduce the pressure on A&E departments.

“Anyone who spends a night in the welfare centre would be given alcohol awareness advice the following morning.”

This weekend, In response to the “enormous burden on police and health services” created by alcohol related crime, Chief Constable Lee said officers will be targeting town centre violence hot-spots and will give warnings to heavily drunk revellers.

Officers will tackle binge drinking by issuing warnings to those heavily under the influence of alcohol, with some being asked to leave the town or city centres.

Officers are not only visiting schools to raise alcohol awareness, but will be focusing upon student freshers’ week celebrations.

There will be road show events to promote responsible drinking and some venues will use breathalyser trials.

The weekend’s events aim to encourage personal responsibility for drinking.

Chief Constable Lee added: “There is only so much progress we can make without individuals taking personal responsibility for their drinking.

“It is considered normal to be so drunk that people are not in control of themselves.”

New compulsory licensing conditions will begin in October that tackle irresponsible promotions and verifying age.