Tackle drunkenness culture, says police chief

An “enormous burden” is being placed on the police and NHS by society’s casual attitude to heavy drinking, a Chief Constable has warned.

Adrian Lee, the National Policing Lead on Alcohol Harm, said individuals must take “personal responsibility” for their drinking.

His comments came ahead of the Police using Twitter to share an insight into “a typical Saturday night’s policing activity”.


Some of the tweets included: “4am. Now it’s really started to get busy as people pour onto the streets at club closing time, many of them intoxicated” and “Altercation in Northampton town centre. Two intoxicated men have assaulted one another”.

Lee, Northamptonshire Police’s most senior officer, said that police “still have to pull officers off their beats to deal with the drunk and disorderly in town centres every weekend”.

He added: “There is only so much progress we can make without individuals taking personal responsibility for their drinking.


“Social tolerance for excessive drinking is far too great and it is considered normal to be so drunk that people are not in control of themselves.

“This puts an enormous burden on police and health services and affects the service we offer to the public.”

In 2005 Labour introduced 24-hour drinking, amid hopes that the new laws would create a continental style ‘café-culture’ in the UK.

However in 2010 Labour grandee Roy Hattersley criticised the laws, saying: “For every family shopper who takes home a bottle of Beaujolais to enjoy with Sunday lunch, several teenagers prepare for a riotous night out by buying whatever is on ‘special offer’.”


Earlier this year, a group of MPs and Peers called for minimum alcohol pricing and new rules for drink-driving.

The All Party Parliamentary Committee on Alcohol Misuse called for a reduction in the drink-drive limit, initially applied to drivers under the age of 21.

It also backed a minimum price to be applied per unit of alcohol to increase the cost of cheap drinks available in supermarkets.

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