Alcohol & Drugs

Tackling and reducing Alcohol & Drug use is one of the Police and Crime Commissioners policies and we hold the force to account for their delivery.

young person drinking

Alcohol Policy

Reduce the harm caused by Alcohol

Why is alcohol a priority for the PCC?

Alcohol misuse places a strain on our emergency services, 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

Below are links to news articles in relation to the North East Reduce Alcohol Harm Conference held in Durham.

Parliamentary Debate About Reducing Alcohol ConsumptionSupport For Victims Of The Effects Of Excessive Alcohol Consumption

Below are links to news articles in relation to joint letters to Parliament from the three North East PCCs.

Counting The Cost In The North EastGovernment To Consider Wider Implications Of Alcohol Consumption

Drugs Policy

Reduce the harm caused by Drugs

Drugs cause immense harm for the communities of Durham and Darlington and this is why the PCC is committed to reducing the harm.

What does the PCC 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
  • increase in the number of people accessing support for treatment & 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

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.

Following the UK drug policy: More Harm Than Good Symposium 2017, the PCVC has released the UK Drug Policy: More Harm Than Good Two Years On Report.