Alcohol misuse fuelling yob behaviour and hospital admissions soar
Bob Blackman, prospective parliamentary candidate for Harrow East expressed his concern over new official figures which have revealed a soaring number of hospital admissions due to alcohol misuse, and the effect of alcohol in pushing up crime and disorder.
According to research by the NHS Information Centre:
- The number of admissions to NHS hospital due to alcohol has soared by 52 per cent over the last decade.
- 1 in 10 of all these incidents now involves those under 18 – the legal drinking age.
- Across London, there were 25,577 hospital admissions due to alcohol last year.
- 1 in 3 of all 15 year olds thinks it is acceptable to get drunk at least once a week.
- Half of all violent attacks are committed by those under the influence of alcohol.
Growing alcohol misuse has coincided with new 24 hour licensing laws imposed by the Government, and a failure to enforce effectively the laws which exist against under-age drinking. The Government has also raided budgets for the promotion of healthy living to meet NHS deficits.
Bob Blackman said:
“There’s nothing wrong with adults having a good night out, but under-age and binge drinking fuels crime and anti-social behaviour. Labour Ministers talk endlessly about cracking down on alcohol-related violence, but these new figures expose Gordon Brown’s complacency and the knock-on effect on the NHS.
“The Labour Government’s failure to enforce the law sends totally the wrong message about under-age drinking. We need greater social responsibility, more powers for local communities over licensing, and an end to some parents turning a blind eye to their children’s drinking.”
Notes to Editors
NEW RESEARCH ON BINGE-DRINKING
The NHS Information Centre has published new research on the health effects of alcohol misuse:
- In 2006-07, there were 57,142 NHS hospital admissions with a primary diagnosis specifically related to alcohol. This number has risen by 52 per cent since 1995-96.
- Of these admissions, 4,888 (nine per cent) involved patients under 18 years of age.
- 15 per cent of pupils thought it was okay to get drunk at least once a week; this figure was 30 per cent for 15 year olds.
- In 2006-07, just over a half of violent attackers, where the attack resulted in wounding and minor injuries, were believed by their victims to be under the influence of alcohol at the time of incident.
NHS hospital admissions where there was a primary or secondary diagnosis of diseases specifically related to alcohol
Hospital admissions due to alcohol
|East England Strategic Health Authority
|East Midlands SHA
|North East SHA
|North West SHA
|South Central SHA
|South East Coast SHA
|South West SHA
|West Midlands SHA
|Yorkshire & Humber SHA
NHS Information Centre, Statistics on Alcohol: England 2008, 22 May 2008.
GROWING CONCERN ON UNDER-AGE BINGE DRINKING
A report published by Crime Concern in January revealed the extent of under-age binge drinking.
The survey of 10-19 years olds found that 42 per cent began drinking when they were 13 or under and 29 per cent said they drink to get drunk. Half of the young people surveyed had been involved in fighting, violence and aggression as a result of drinking. In addition, 50 per cent of parents were reported to condone or not care about their children’s drinking.
Crime Concern, Binge drinking: young people’s attitudes and behaviour, 23 January 2008.
FAILURE TO ENFORCE LICENSING LAWS EFFECTIVELY
The Home Office’s Tackling Underage Sales of Alcohol Campaign, during which 2,683 premises were targeted by police and trading standards officers between 4 May and 13 July 2007, show that 40 per cent of licences premises in the study sold alcohol to children (Home Office press release, 11 October 2007).
Just two people have been prosecuted and one found guilty of selling alcohol to a drunken person since the Licensing Act 2003 was introduced. In addition, only 47 penalty notices were issued for this offence in the whole of England and Wales in 2006 (Hansard, 19 March 2008, col.1244W).