A welcome decrease in violent crime

April 23, 2014

BBC News reported today that ‘violent crime is continuing a long-term fall in England and Wales, according to annual figures from NHS hospitals. There was a 12% fall in injuries from violent incidents in 2013, according to data from almost a third of emergency departments examined by Cardiff University’. This is another significant drop from the previous year.

Of course it is excellent news not only for hard pressed emergency services but also for the police and citizens whose town centres and communities are blighted by alcohol related violence.

The report author says that not all the reasons for the decrease are known but suggests a strong link between the decrease in violent crime and the rising cost of alcohol since 2008 when alcohol started to become less affordable due to the recesion

This should reinforce the debate about Minimum Unit Pricing (MUP) for alcohol.  Some years ago the Greater Manchester Health Commission, of which I was a member as part of my Council duties, gathered a lot of evidence for the government to suggest a Minimum Unit Price for alcohol as a sensible way forward to tackle binge drinking, particularly for young people. We compared our suggestions with anti- smoking campaigns where the initial increase in the cost of cigarettes was an important part to stop people from smoking. Of course cost is not the only measure but in conjunction with health education and other positive campaigns making alcohol less easily available surely is the right way forward.

Yet the government has been sitting on the fence, trying to defend the indefensible. MUP is not about punishing the hard working family person, who won’t be able to enjoy a relaxing glass of wine at the end of a long week.

A sensible implementation of Minimum Unit Pricing would be an effective way to stop particularly young people from drinking themselves into a coma every weekend, threatening our town and city centres, causing millions of pounds worth of damage, injuring others and wrecking their own health. All evidence is pointing into one direction. What is stopping the government to come up with the right legislation?

We are finally coming out of the recession and hopefully people will have more disposable income again. We will soon be greeted by the unfortunate news that alcohol related violent crime is back on the increase?



One comment

  1. Not bad at all fellas and galasl. Thanks.

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