Passmore Priority for July is alcohol misuse

The scope of responsibility of Suffolk’s first Police and Crime Commissioner is broad and varied; in order to really concentrate on the issues that the public are concerned about Tim Passmore, is highlighting one priority each month to focus on as his Passmore Priority.

Tim Passmore will select one aspect of his Police and Crime Plan to highlight each month and gain public support to combat the problem. Passmore’s Priority for July is alcohol abuse and the devastating effect it has on crime and the general well-being of people in the county.

“Speaking to people across the county it has been quite shocking to realise just how much crime and anti-social behaviour is alcohol fuelled,” says Tim, “that’s why, throughout July I will be focusing my attention on the significant issue of alcohol misuse. My main objective as PCC is to make Suffolk a safer place in which to live, work, travel and invest and I see that focusing on alcohol issues will help alleviate a lot of the crime and anti-social behaviour across Suffolk.

“I was staggered to hear from the local police officer that on a busy night in Ipswich 95% of incidents that the Constabulary is involved in are alcohol related. This is a terrible reflection on our county and has a massive impact on the Constabulary’s resources both in man-power and financial terms. This also has an adverse effect on the economy as it can stop people from coming into our towns to enjoy an evening at the cinema, restaurant or the theatre.

Tim continued, “There is a lot of good work being carried out across the county to combat the problem of alcohol; by co-ordinating all this good work and working together I am sure we can make a real impact on the problem. Many partners are already working on initiatives to raise awareness of the effects of drugs and alcohol misuse and develop local solutions, including the Licensee Support Pack, ‘Pub Watch’ and ‘Best Bar None’ which recognises well managed premises.

“Recognising the degree of the problem that alcohol causes, I have awarded £200K to the county’s Drug and Alcohol Team to fund their excellent work. They estimate that over 22,500 crimes are prevented as a result of drugs and alcohol users being engaged with treatment services in Suffolk which saves an estimated £20m in costs to other agencies and society, and I consider this excellent value for money.”

To more accurately gauge the impact of alcohol on crime in the county, from July 1 all detainees brought into our Police Investigation Centres will be asked to complete a survey aimed at understanding the extent to which alcohol was involved in alleged offences. This will give a good understanding of the factors involved in the offence and what actions we need to do to address these.