Just 42 Portsmouth drinkers caused 1,100 police call-outs

Alcohol-related crime is on the way down and Portsmouth City Council says that that shows its campaign to stop premises selling strong drinks cheaply is working
Alcohol-related crime is on the way down and Portsmouth City Council says that that shows its campaign to stop premises selling strong drinks cheaply is working
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  • Portsmouth City Council defends voluntary bans on low-cost but high-strength drinks
  • Authority identified 69 street drinkers in 2012
  • They caused 2,010 incidents in 2012/13 but just 42 caused 1,145 in 2013/14
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JUST 42 drinkers were responsible for more than 1,000 police call-outs ranging from anti-social behaviour to sexual assaults and robberies.

Figures show police dealt with 1,145 alcohol-fuelled incidents between November 2013 and October 2014.

These statistics show us that in terms of our targeted work with those struggling with addiction and street drinking we achieved a 39 per centdrop in people visibly street drinking in Portsmouth

Dr Janet Maxwell

But that is a 43 per cent drop – with Portsmouth City Council saying that 69 street drinkers were responsible for 2,010 incidents in the previous year.

The drop is due to 23 of the original 69 moving out of the city or getting help with drink problems. Four have died.

It comes as the council defends its Reducing the Strength campaign, which sees shops agree to stop selling low-cost but high-strength beers, lagers and ciders – those stronger than 6.5 per cent alcohol by volume.

So far 108 stores have signed up to the scheme in the city.

Dr Janet Maxwell, director of public health, said: ‘These statistics show us that in terms of our targeted work with those struggling with addiction and street drinking we achieved a 39 per cent drop in people visibly street drinking in Portsmouth in a 12-month period and a 43 per cent drop in incidents linked to these visible street drinkers in the same period.’

‘We would suggest that this shows that our RTS initiative, along with our broader alcohol strategy work, has had a positive effect on our aims but there is still work to do.’

Portsmouth has the fourth highest rate of alcohol-related deaths in the country.

A change in the way Hampshire Constabulary records crime means the council is expecting to see a rise.

A police spokeswoman said local beat teams are aware of locations in which drinking and anti-social behaviour takes place and patrol them.

Incidents of violence against the person where the offender was recorded as affected by alcohol or alcohol and drugs, has reduced.

There were 1,081 incidents in 2011/12, 912 in 2012/13 and 807 in 2013/14.