Police Alcohol Campaign Launched

Police Scotland’s Forth Valley Division and key partners have launched a campaign aimed at reducing the impact and harm caused by alcohol fuelled antisocial behaviour, disorder and violence on communities across the region.

The main theme of the campaign will be to educate and raise awareness of young people (aged 13-17) about the risks of alcohol, in particular, the dangers of excessive consumption, which may place youths in difficult situations or leave them vulnerable.

Education officials and school-based officers are working with school kids in the Clackmannanshire area to challenge their perception and views towards alcohol.

In addition, policing teams will be visiting off licence premises to remind proprietors and staff of their responsibilities.   Only five premises out of a total of 156 failed ‘Test Purchase’ operations carried out over the last 2 years, suggesting that young people are not being sold alcohol directly. However, those under 18 tend to gain access to alcohol more through proxy purchases (adults purchasing alcohol on behalf of the young people), or on occasion from mums and dads.

Chief Superintendent David Flynn, Forth Valley Divisional Commander of Police Scotland said:

 “This campaign is not as a result of an increase in antisocial behaviour, disorder and violence on communities across Forth Valley, quite the contrary.  Although these types of crimes have fallen, we continue to see and investigate crimes where excess alcohol consumption is a contributing factor.

“We are working with our partners to seek to raise awareness of this continuing trend and where possible prevent future alcohol fuelled activities.  We are also supporting our partners in improving health and well being across Forth Valley.

“This isn’t about adults and young people drinking a small amount of alcohol socially – it is about them drinking so much to excess that they are unable to look after themselves and putting themselves at risk.

“Specific to young people, we are looking to stimulate discussions amongst mums, dads, guardians and carers with their children regarding alcohol and seek their support in preventing future alcohol fuelled incidents.”

Elaine Lawlor, Forth Valley Alcohol and Drug Partnership Co-ordinator added:

 “Research shows that the younger a person is when they start to drink regularly, the greater their risk of alcohol-related problems later in life. To help address this we developed a pilot in the emergency department at Forth Valley Royal Hospital to support youngsters who turned up intoxicated. This was a partnership approach which included local councils, health services and the children’s charity Barnardos and has proved very valuable. The service is now available on an ongoing basis.”

Gail Cook, Falkirk and Clackmannanshire Domestic Abuse Policy Coordinator said:

 “Alcohol is never an excuse for abusive or violent behaviour.  However excessive drinking will contribute to some young people putting themselves in vulnerable situations or increase the risk of them causing harm to others as a result of impaired decision making.  It is important that young people and their families know there can be serious consequences associated with drinking alcohol.”