Hard hitting course launched to improve alcohol awareness

The Argus: Hard hitting course launched to improve alcohol awareness Hard hitting course launched to improve alcohol awareness

People who admit being drunk and disorderly can attend a £45 course rather than pay a £90 fine.

West Sussex residents will have the opportunity to attend the Alcohol Diversion Scheme – similar to a speed awareness course but aimed at tackling alcohol abuse – if they are arrested on suspicion of being drunk and disorderly and admit the offence.

A similar scheme already runs in Brighton and Hove and is successful.

The scheme has been rolled out in West Sussex and is being supported by Sussex Police, West Sussex County Council, Pub Watch Schemes and Community Safety Partnerships.

The agencies will also work with charity Druglink.

Similar schemes are run in Derbyshire, Devon and Cornwall.

Chief Inspector Tanya Jones, who is leading on the project, said: “In other forces they have been a significant reduction in attendees becoming victims or perpetrators of violent crime, and a dramatic decrease in accident and emergency admissions.

"The course is hard hitting - it contains information about the damage which can be caused by binge drinking and offers the opportunity for people to really reflect on the risks around their behaviour.

“There is a clear link between alcohol consumption and anti-social behaviour, which officers see everyday and this scheme sees us working with our partners to help people who are offered the course assess their behaviour.”

This initiative is not targeted at those with serious substance misuse problems as we know a three hour course may not be suitable in these cases where, instead, we already work with our partners to provide a range of services for these people.

West Sussex County Council abinet member for community wellbeing, Christine Field said: “It provides a chance for people to assess their drinking and the impact it is having not only on their life, but on those around them. The very fact they will have been invited to participate in this scheme will be an indication that their alcohol use is causing problems.

Karen Methven, from Crawley and Gatwick Business Watch, said: “We will, for certain offences, offer the opportunity to downgrade the six-month PubWatch exclusion to a probationary period, if they attend a Drugslink session.”

Comments (4)

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6:50pm Wed 11 Dec 13

KarenT says...

I think this is OK, but after the second offence they should be hung, drawn and quartered.
I think this is OK, but after the second offence they should be hung, drawn and quartered. KarenT

8:01pm Wed 11 Dec 13

bluemonday says...

why not have a trial run with the homeless drunks to see if it works
why not have a trial run with the homeless drunks to see if it works bluemonday

8:58pm Wed 11 Dec 13

John Steed says...

sadly most of the people I know who binge drink or have serious issues with alcohol are well aware of the damage to health and risks involved, that knowledge does not help one iota in curbing their excesses. I for one wish it did.
sadly most of the people I know who binge drink or have serious issues with alcohol are well aware of the damage to health and risks involved, that knowledge does not help one iota in curbing their excesses. I for one wish it did. John Steed

9:09pm Wed 11 Dec 13

rayellerton says...

yeah great...that's gonna work isn't it? If council didn't issue late licences as if they were going out of fashion, then not police the terms of those licences we wouldn't have half the problems. I put it down to greed as they charge a small fortune for them, return licencing responsibility to the Magistrates who don't have a hidden agenda...
yeah great...that's gonna work isn't it? If council didn't issue late licences as if they were going out of fashion, then not police the terms of those licences we wouldn't have half the problems. I put it down to greed as they charge a small fortune for them, return licencing responsibility to the Magistrates who don't have a hidden agenda... rayellerton

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