Friday, January 02, 2009

In the New Year's Top Ten

Not quite the New Year's Honour's entry that the Isle of Thanet might have wished for, appearing as it does among the country's 'Top Ten' blackspots for alcohol-related anti-social behaviour and rates of "less serious wounding" crimes as a proxy for alcohol-related violence.

That other famous seaside resort, Blackpool leads the list of shame, with the deprived London Borough of Newham in second spot; two very different places, with contrasting night time economies and drinking cultures. According to the indespensible North West Public Health Observatory's Local Alcohol Profiles for England, Newham has the 17th lowest synthetic estimate of binge drinking in England whilst Blackpool has the 26th highest.

Locally, we have a zero-tolerance approach and try very hard to deal with the problems which include a record number of hospital admissions for under-age drinkers with measures such as the teenage group dispersal orders in towns like Broadstairs. However, we have a local alcohol culture that is firmly resistant to change, local supermarkets that appear to encourage excessive consumption through 'loss-leading' promotions and a Police Service that lacks the resources to act consistently, combined with court sentencing and a criminal justice system that fails to act as a deterrent.

  • Blackpool
  • Newham
  • North East Lincolnshire
  • Southampton
  • Thanet
  • Lincoln
  • Burnley
  • Wakefield
  • Weymouth & Portland
  • Mansfield
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