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In Focus Alcohol Harm - Week of Action

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Cleveland Police and partners are taking part in a national campaign with a week long series of events and initiatives to raise awareness of the harm and dangers posed by excessive alcohol consumption. They will also be taking proactive steps to tackle irresponsible or illegal licensing sales.

The week of action begins on Monday (16th September) and operations will include the deployment of street pastors, knife arch deployments and passive drugs dog operations along with a tweetathon being coordinated from Police HQ on Saturday night - updating on all alcohol-related incidents police are dealing with.

Officers and licensing colleagues will work closely with the licensed trade and door staff in a bid to reduce underage drinking and alcohol associated violence, with Pub Watch meetings arranged to emphasise the importance of not selling to anyone under 18 or who may already have had too much to drink.

And there will be the opportunity for Intelligence Officers to gather information on drug use in pubs and clubs in a bid to bring prosecutions against users.

Police will back up multiagency awareness raising and educational initiatives with enforcement, with officers checking that underage people are not being served alcohol and officers on the street adopting a low tolerance to drunkenness - using Direction to Leave powers wherever possible.

Assistant Chief Constable for Cleveland Police, Dave Pickard said: “The public must remember that the police are here to protect people and property. If we believe the activity of a person, group, establishment or trade is compromising public safety then we will take action.”

PCC Barry Coppinger added: “It is widely accepted that excess alcohol consumption is often at the heart of nuisance, antisocial behaviour, and serious crime such as violence and sexual offences. This week of action allows all the agencies to come together in a coordinated, targeted and effective way.”

Colin Shevills, Director of Balance, the North East Alcohol Office, said: “This is a great local initiative by Cleveland Police and its partners. It’s important to highlight the harms related to alcohol and the impact it has on individual, families and our communities.

“Most people are able to enjoy alcohol without it having an impact on others. However, we do have an issue with alcohol here in the region and it’s a similar picture across the UK. As well as the health implications associated with drinking too much, around half of all violent crime is alcohol related. Here in the North East, our recent police impact study also revealed that the majority of police officers (6 in 10) said alcohol related crime and disorder takes up at least half of their time. And on a weekend evening shift nearly every single person being dealt with or arrested is intoxicated through alcohol misuse.

“One of the main issues we face is that alcohol is too available, too affordable and too widely promoted. We need to see action on a national level but this is a great example of local, proactive awareness raising initiatives.”

 

Posted on Wednesday 18th September 2013
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