Council signs up to alcohol declaration

A council has agreed to a new commitment to tackle the problems of booze abuse.

North Tyneside Council has signed up to the regional Local Authority Declaration on Alcohol.

We are proud to sign up to the Declaration and clearly state our commitment to reducing alcohol-related harm

Wendy Burke, North Tyneside’s acting director of public health

Signing up will mean action across different agencies to address the harm that alcohol causes – to individuals, families and communities.

Among the potential options are making best use of licensing powers to manage the night-time economy, ensuring public health and community safety issues are a high priority in alcohol-related policy; and raising awareness of the harm caused by alcohol to bring it closer in public consciousness to other harmful products, such as tobacco.

Wendy Burke, North Tyneside’s acting director of public health, said: “Every year in North Tyneside there are around 100 alcohol-specific deaths, 2,000 alcohol-related hospital admissions, around 400 alcohol-related violent crimes and thousands of work-related absences linked to drinking alcohol.

“The personal, social and economic cost of alcohol has been estimated to be over £83m for North Tyneside, with cost implications for the NHS, crime and licensing, workplaces and social care.”

“We are proud to sign up to the Declaration and clearly state our commitment to reducing alcohol-related harm – not only for our borough, but also as part of a regional effort.”

In addition to the financial impact, national figures show around 50 per cent of violent crimes and domestic violence incidents are committed under the influence of alcohol; 20 per cent of all violent crime occurs in or near pubs and clubs; and 45 per cent of adults avoid town centres at night because of drunken behaviour.