9:00am Wednesday 14th November 2012
By Claire Simpson
A major campaign to reduce alcohol-related crime, health and social harms launches in Bradford next week.
The drive is part of national Alcohol Awareness Week which this year has the theme ‘It's time to talk about drinking'.
Latest figures show the total cost of alcohol-related treatment in Bradford in 2010/11 was £35 million, of which £6.7m was for A&E attendances and £7m in outpatients appointments, equating to £88 per adult.
In that period there were 108,190 alcohol-related admissions to hospital, compared to an average in the Yorkshire and Humber region of 72,821.
And there were 138 alcohol-related deaths, of which 101 men and 37 women in the disrict, compared to a regional average of 105. Of those deaths 60 were due to chronic liver disease (41 men and 19 women).
Further figures show that about 89,000 adults in the Bradford district do not drink alcohol however, more than 17,000 people are drinking at levels which could seriously harm their health. A further 75,000 people drink at levels which increases the risk of alcohol-related harm.
During the awareness week, which runs from November 19-25, Bradford Council will join forces with West Yorkshire Police, West Yorkshire Trading Standards and health agencies to highlight alcohol-related problems and encourage residents to drink sensibly.
The Council and alcohol treatment and partner agencies will run special awareness raising sessions in colleges, schools, the University of Bradford and hospitals to encourage people to start talking about the health risks, social problems, stigmas and taboos associated with alcohol.
Council youth workers will tour the Bradford district in a special exhibition bus highlighting alcohol harms and encouraging young people to think carefully about the impact alcohol can have on them and others.
The Police will crack down on drink-fuelled crime with operations against drink driving and anti-social behaviour.
Off licenses will be targeted by Trading Standards and the Police in test purchasing operations in a bid to reduce underage alcohol sales.
Steve Hartley, a Bradford Council assistant director, who is responsible for neighbourhoods, said: “Drinking too much is having a devastating and wide reaching impact on society and we are working together with partners to prevent and tackle the consequences of excessive alcohol consumption. We are addressing the issue on all fronts, from prevention work in schools to law enforcement and rehabilitation.
Superintendent Vince Firth, of the Bradford District Community Safety Partnership, said: “Tackling drunkenness, anti-social behaviour and alcohol fuelled violence is a key priority for West Yorkshire Police.
“We also know without doubt that alcohol is linked to all types of violent crime and in partnership we are determined to tackle this issue across the district.”
“Our message is simple, if you enjoy a drink, don't overdo it. Know your limits and never get behind the wheel of a vehicle if you have had alcohol.”
The Chief Medical Officer's guidelines on lower-risk drinking recommend no more than three to four units daily for men and two to three for women. Two alcohol-
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