In the Media

?A night out on Twitter?- Highlighting the impact of alcohol on our police service

PUBLISHED May 24, 2013

Using the hashtag #alcolholharm, forces will tweet about alcohol-related calls as they receive them in police control rooms, as well as incidents involving alcohol which police officers are called to deal with on the streets.

Northamptonshire Police will have a member of staff tweeting from the control room from 10pm until 4am. The tweets will cover 999 and 101 calls coming in throughout the evening. Officers on duty will also tweet about their experiences.

Others forces getting involved are West Yorkshire, Leicestershire, Wiltshire, West Mercia, Warwickshire, West Midlands, Greater Manchester, Cheshire, Cumbria, Northern Ireland and Durham.

National lead on alcohol licensing and harm reduction Chief Constable Adrian Lee of Northamptonshire Police said:

"We all recognise that alcohol can be beneficial for our wellbeing and community cohesion: sharing a drink with family, friends and neighbours in a pub, over dinner or at a summer barbecue is a social activity that has long been a part of British life.

"However, alcohol also causes damage that we cannot ignore. Excessive drinking clearly increases your likelihood of committing a crime or becoming a victim of one. Nearly 50 per cent of all violent crime is alcohol related; drink related anti-social behaviour is the most common form that people experience. Offenders are thought to be under the influence of alcohol in nearly half of all incidents of domestic abuse. The cost of policing all this is substantial and the impact on our partners, in particular the health service, is another huge cost.

"I am concerned that a very small number of people come to our town centres intending to drink so much that they are not capable of taking personal responsibility for their own welfare. The police and other agencies do have a duty of care and together we do all we can to keep people safe but there is a cost to that. I hope our frontline officers sharing their experiences of dealing with alcohol related issues will demonstrate the harm that alcohol can cause and its impact on policing.

"We ask that people think about how much they have to drink, take responsibility for themselves and their friends and enjoy the bank holiday."