Institute of Alcohol Studies says binge drinking blitz is only sticking plaster

DeHavilland Report – News Comment

Summary

The Institute of Alcohol Studies today described the Home
Office’s Christmas binge drinking crackdown as ‘a sticking plaster’
solution from a government that had failed to prevent the nation’s city
centres from becoming a ‘battlefield’.

IAS director Andrew McNeill told politics.co.uk: ‘If you have
got a gaping wound, it’s as well to put a sticking plaster on it. But
what’s happening [the blitz] is the equivalent of sending the British
Expeditionary Forces with supporting medical backup to cope with the
aftermath of the battle of the Somme.’

The Home Office today announced that police would mount a
crackdown on drunken anti-social behaviour during the festive season,
handing out £80 fines for fighting, urinating and vomiting in public,
and dispersing unruly crowds.

But Mr McNeill said the Government would be better off
changing its mind on allowing 24-hour drinking and doing more to protect
inner-city residents.

‘What they actually need to do is step back and think about
how it is that the centre of our towns and cities come to resemble a
battlefield in the first place.’

There would be so many heavy drinkers on the streets during
the Christmas period that the blitz would be impossible to enforce, he
added. ‘It [the blitz] is unpoliceable in fact.’

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