Binge drinking strips women of their dignity, according to the Chief Constable of Nottinghamshire Police.
Julia Hodson’s comments come as Labour and the Conservatives battle over how to combat the nation’s binge drinking culture.
Chief Constable Hodson said: “There is no more sobering sight than a young woman, prone and vomiting, all dressed up for a good night out, but with her dignity left in the bar as she is stretchered into the emergency department.”
The Chief Constable made her comments after she spent a Saturday night touring Nottingham’s city centre along with two local council chief executives.
The group also visited Queen’s Medical Centre’s Emergency Department to assess the problems posed by alcohol misuse.
Chief Constable Hodson said: “Alcohol can make people vulnerable and it can make people unpleasant, and it is hard to serve someone who has actually put themselves at risk, and made themselves violent and unpleasant.
“Some of the hospital staff obviously feel very vulnerable when they are treating these people.”
Ramzi Freij, a Consultant at Queen’s Medical Centre, said: “Alcohol has a huge impact on our staff, patients and the relatives that come to the emergency department. I would say, on average, 30-50% of the problems in our workload are related to alcohol in some way, and it has increased slowly over the last few years.”
The Chief Constable has called on the police force’s partners “to lobby people who can influence the wider issues about pricing, accessibility and purchase of alcohol”.
Earlier this week both Labour and the Conservatives unveiled their plans to tackle the nation’s binge drinking problem.
Labour want to ban “irresponsible” drinking promotions and the Conservatives have set out plans to place higher taxes on ‘problem’ drinks such as alcopops.
However, a professor from University College Hospital in London has attacked the two parties for trying to make political gains from the problem.
Professor Roger Williams said: “Both the major political parties are aware of the crisis in our society, and both are trying to make political capital this week by claiming to have the policies that will end this nightmare.”
Prof Williams also criticized the current 24-hour drinking laws, saying: “The idea behind the introduction of 24-hour pub opening, said ministers, was to create a more relaxed, continental-style ‘cafe culture’ in Britain.
“But this was always Utopian nonsense. We have neither the climate nor the tradition for such a cafe culture.”
The 24-hour drinking law has come under sustained criticism since it was brought in by Labour under the 2003 Licensing Act.