The government has launched a new project today (Thursday, 13 February) to tackle the harmful effects of excessive drinking.
Twenty areas across England and Wales are being set up as Local Alcohol Action Areas (LAAAs) to combat drink-fuelled crime and disorder and the damage caused to people’s health. Work in the LAAAs will also be focused on promoting diverse night time economies. Nottingham and Nottinghamshire County have been successful in a joint bid to the Home Office to become a Local Alcohol Action Area.
LAAAs will receive additional support and insight from government to assist local agencies to tackle alcohol related crime, anti-social behaviour and the health harms caused by alcohol misuse.
Nottingham and Nottinghamshire’s partners warmly welcome the opportunity to participate in the government’s scheme. There was considerable competition for LAAA status and the award represents a vote of confidence in the city and the county’s approach to alcohol.
Nottinghamshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Paddy Tipping has emphasised the need for cohesive action between all the different organisations impacted by alcohol-related issues within his countywide Alcohol Strategy, he said:
“This is a significant step forward. We will be able to draw on expertise and support from the highest level while sharing best practice with others facing similar challenges. This validates the emphasis we have placed on tackling alcohol abuse and gives additional impetus to the delivery of the county-wide alcohol strategy.”
The LAAA will provide local partners with the opportunity to showcase their successes while learning from best practice approaches from elsewhere in the country.
The increased level of engagement with the Home Office which the LAAA represents will allow issues for Nottingham and Nottinghamshire to be raised at the highest level helping to ensure the best outcomes for citizens.
Nottingham City is currently working towards the delivery of its partnership Alcohol Strategy which works alongside the PCC’s Alcohol Strategy published last year.
Recently, Nottingham has approved the introduction of a city-wide ban on street drinking while best practice schemes such as the successful Alcohol Diversion Scheme is delivered across the Nottinghamshire Police Force Area.
Councillor Jon Collins, Leader of Nottingham City Council, said:
“Tackling alcohol misuse is something we take very seriously in Nottingham. As well as moving towards a city-wide ban on nuisance street drinking, we have also taken steps to ban super-strength beers, lagers and ciders from shops in the city. Our success with these and other alcohol initiatives has helped us to repeatedly gain the Purple Flag Award – a status which gives people the reassurance that they can enjoy a safe night out in our city.”
While considerable progress has been made in recent years to reduce crime and address the drivers of crime such as the misuse of alcohol, significant challenges remain for partners in the city and county.
To meet these challenges, work is underway to ensure that high quality treatment provision is in place, preventative messages are shared with citizens and that robust enforcement is maintained.
Chief Inspector Linda McCarthy, alcohol lead for Nottinghamshire Police said:
"Becoming a Local Alcohol Action Area enables both the city and county to get additional advice, support and best practice to benefit the significant work that is already ongoing across Nottinghamshire.
"Tackling alcohol-related violence and the impact that alcohol can have on people is already a priority for Nottinghamshire Police, and we are continuing to promote our Alliance Against Violence campaign to get people to sign up to helping make a difference.
"It has been great to see the partners from across both the city and county working to tackle harm linked with alcohol. The LAAA status bolsters this ongoing work and will help to maintain the focus on reducing alcohol-related crime and helping those who are most vulnerable to alcohol harm."
Peter Moyes, Director of the Crime & Drugs Partnership said:
“We are always looking for new ways to address the challenges alcohol presents to our communities. This is a great opportunity to ensure we remain at the cutting edge and are leading the fight against the negative impact alcohol can have.”
Media Enquiries: Sallie Blair - 01283 821012 / 07702 541401
Posted on Thursday 13th February 2014