Is enough being done to reduce the cost of alcohol related crime here?
By Merllyn Canet
The rising level of alcohol related crime must be related to the level of excessive alcohol abusers , about 3.2million people in UK.
Alcohole is involved in 25% of accidents , 30% of hospital admissions are alcohol related and 5% of suicides.
We think that this serious level of addiction to a commonly and legally available substance is a medical and a social problem. How does it help to criminalise some behaviour such as drinking in public places ? Surely it merely moves the alcohol drinking into the home where it can be responsible for 1/3 of domestic violence. Half of families have one or more alcohol abusers in them, a massive problem.
There needs to be better access to treatment centres and more mental health care. These are areas of the NHS that are being cut or reduced.
Pubs are closing where some level of control was exercised. The increase in opening hours , taxes and other overheads have pushed publicans out of business. Now it is easy and cheap to buy alcohol from supermarkets so no social restraint is needed, your friends and neighbours need never know that your drinking is out of control and that you need help urgently.
Loneliness and social isolation is prevalent in our society so " drowning your sorrows "might seem like a good idea. Older people may be doing this more and reducing their healthy eating because it is too much bother, leading to malnutrition.
Liberal Democrats would look at this alcohol use in a more holistic way with education , treatment centres and friendlier places to meet with alternative drinks available. Many younger people are already making these changes in their behaviour, they want to able to drive safely.
Cllr. Merilyn Canet and Marguerita Morton