Alcohol policy : Reduce the harm caused by Alcohol
Why is alcohol a priority for the PCVC?
Alcohol misuse places a strain on our emergency services and a significant cost burden on society; latest estimates show that the cost of alcohol-related crime is £11bn.
Over the last decade, in around half of all violent incidents, the victim believed the offender(s) was under the influence of alcohol at the time of the offence, a proportion that increases in incidents between strangers, in the evening and night, at weekends, and in public places. This is also the case in 17% of incidents of partner abuse.
Evidence on the links between alcohol and non-violent or acquisitive crime is less well-developed; though alcohol can also be a specific factor in some offences, for example 36% of penalty notices for disorder in 2014/15 were issued for being drunk and disorderly. Alcohol also has a wider impact on communities; 18% of adults perceive people being drunk or rowdy as a very or fairly big problem in their local area.
Given the association between alcohol use and violence, reducing risky consumption is likely to be beneficial in reducing and preventing crime. The actions outlined in the Modern Crime Prevention Strategy are based on evidence that reducing the availability of alcohol, providing targeted treatment and brief advice and prevention approaches that build life skills and resilience can be effective in reducing alcohol harm. In addition, good partnership working has been found to underpin the successful implementation of interventions, and sharing data on acute harms across health, criminal justice and local authority platforms can also inform crime prevention activity.
PCVC’s policy activity
North East Reduce Alcohol Harm Conference held in Durham -
Joint letters to Parliament from the 3 North East PCCs -
policy position summary
Reduce the harm caused by Drugs
Drugs cause immense harm for the communities of Durham and Darlington and this is why the PCVC is committed to reducing the harm.
What does the PCVC wish to achieve?
A reduction in the harm caused to individuals and society by drugs:
• A reduction in drug use
• An increase in treatment provision
• An increase in the number of people accessing support for treatment and recovery
• A reduction in the number of drug related deaths and illnesses
• A reduction in the number of crimes committed and number of victims
• Disruption of organised crime groups
• Improved community safety, reduction in drug paraphernalia in the streets
• Cost savings for the public sector
How will the PCVC’s aspirations be achieved?
1. hold a fundamental review of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971, and of UK Drug Policy
2. ensure that our approach is firmly based on evidence
3. support fully funded effective education and prevention.
4. develop effective responses to reduce the harm caused by drugs.
5. promote cost-effective specialist drug treatment and recovery as a proven way to reduce crime and make communities safer.
6. protect the vulnerable by supporting alternatives to the criminalisation of people who use drugs and focus efforts on tackling the organised crime groups.
Following the UK Drug Policy: More Harm Than Good Symposium in 2017, the PCVC has released the UK Drug Policy: More Harm than Good Two Years on Report.
The PCVC's manifesto:
Click to download a copy of the policy
International symposium about the future of Drug Policy in the UK
Plans to use naloxone in custody suites, as drug deaths rise again
Pioneering harm reduction drug safety testing service
Campaigning against the failing Government drug policy
UK Drug Policy: More Harm Than Good Conference
policy position summary