Daily Archives: 11/04/2015

Half of attacks ‘alcohol-related’

From the Daily Mail recently a report that says half of violent attacks are ‘alcohol related’.

The majority of violent attacks on adults involved alcohol and often took place after the traditional pub closing time, analysis of the latest crime figures has shown.

Of the more than 1.3 million violent incidents reported in England and Wales for the year 2013/14, some 53% occurred after one of the parties had been drinking.

Analysis of the latest crime figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) also showed men were far more likely to be victims of alcohol-related violence (62%) compared with women (38%).

Two-thirds of violence between strangers also involved alcohol, while one-third of domestic violence occurred after drinking, the figures revealed.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the proportions of violent incidents that were alcohol-related increased as the day progressed – from 23% of violent incidents between noon and 6pm, to 52% between 6pm and 10pm, and 83% between 10pm and midnight.

The trend continued into the early hours – with alcohol featuring in 84% of all violent incidents between midnight and 6am.

According to the Crime Survey for England and Wales, violent incidents at the weekend were twice as likely to involve alcohol (70%) as during the week.

Andrew Brown, director of policy with charity DrugScope, said: “Today’s statistics on alcohol-related violence show the extent of the problem, with more than half of all violent incidents involving alcohol.

“DrugScope’s state of the sector report, published today, found that almost half of substance misuse services are seeing an increased demand for alcohol treatment. We also know that every £1 invested in alcohol treatment saves £5 in health, care and criminal justice costs.

“Making sure that people who need treatment are able to get it must be an important part of the response to alcohol-related violence.”

Analysis of the ONS statistics showed 13% of all threats to kill offences involved alcohol, while some 43% of assaults on police officers occurred after drinking.

The figures also showed the most likely time, for every day of the week, that alcohol-related crime would be recorded.

This included 23.00-23.59 on a Friday (17% of all the day’s incidents), 00.00-00.59am on a Saturday (14%), and 01.00-01.59am on a Sunday (16%).

Some 9% of all alcohol-related offending on a Monday took place during the hour from 1am.

Additional analysis on the nature of some alcohol-related violence was also provided from the previous year’s crime statistics, as well as separate figures from some police forces.

The figures also show the number of incidents involving the offender being under the influence of alcohol to have dropped by more than 150,000 between 2012/13 and the following year. There were 704,000 such incidents reported in the latest batch of annual figures – the lowest in two decades.

A spokesman for the Portman group, which represents alcohol producers, said: ” It is good news that alcohol-related violent crime has fallen by 18% in just one year.

“But alcohol-related harms still remain and some areas suffer more than others. The best way to support these communities is to get local businesses, police, local authorities and health services working together to improve town centres, tackle harmful drinking and make our high streets safer places to enjoy.”

Ask for evidence decided to ask Mr Brown for evidence behind this statement to see if it was backed up by anything or was just the position of the  charity.  Mr Brown tweeted a reply 8 minutes after we had tweeted about the Ask for Evidence. He pointed us to a peer reviewed study, published in the BMJ: UKATT Research Team (2005) BMJ, 544. You can read more here: http://askforevidence.org/articles/a-speedy-response

And then this BBC news story also highlighted that about half of all arrests on the Isle of Man involve alcohol, the island’s chief constable has revealed.

Gary Roberts also reported to the Licensing Court that two-thirds of people arrested over the age of 62 were under the influence.  He described the Isle of Man’s current licensing legislation as “hopeless, outdated and not fit for purpose”.

Mr Roberts revealed the statistics during a three-yearly hearing at the Isle of Man Licensing Court.  “Everyone we arrest for causing criminal damage after midnight is drunk,” he added.

“The licensing legislation on the Isle of Man goes back over 50 years and it needs to change fundamentally.”

The report shows that men over 60 are abusing alcohol more than any other age group.

I find it revealing that Drugscope report almost half of substance misuse services are seeing an increased demand for alcohol treatment.  It is not the traditional illegal drugs that people are requiring help with but that other socially accepted legal drug instead …….