Nottingham and Nottinghamshire are leading the way in developing strong local partnerships to tackle alcohol-related crime and anti-social behaviour across the county.
As one of the first pilots for the Home Office’s Local Alcohol Action Areas (LAAAs) Nottingham and Nottinghamshire have taken advantage of business funded schemes in co-ordinated and positive partnership working between the city, county and business to address local alcohol harms.
For example, in 2015, Nottingham City Centre achieved Purple Flag accreditation for the sixth consecutive year. There are now fifteen Pubwatches across Nottinghamshire, and a countywide Best Bar None scheme, which was launched during the LAAAs project. Street Pastors are now operating in Nottingham, Mansfield, Newark and Southwell, and Sutton in Ashfield offering a helping hand to clubbers and pub goers who may need assistance during the evening.
Mansfield and Sutton in Ashfield have successfully introduced Community Alcohol Partnerships, whilst Mansfield has also achieved Purple Flag accreditation. Sutton in Ashfield successfully bid for a £1,000 business grant to support a street stencilling initiative, aiming to raise awareness that proxy purchasing of alcohol for under 18s is an offence.
In addition, Drinkaware worked with local venues to pilot the Drinkaware Crew initiative. This includes specially trained staff to work in bars and clubs to reduce vulnerability and negative drunken behaviour among 18 to 24 year olds.
Public Health England data shows continual falling trends around alcohol harms in Nottingham; for example, alcohol related violent crime has fallen 17% over the last five years; whilst alcohol related road traffic accidents has also fallen by 8% in the last three years.
To illustrate the work of the local alcohol partnerships schemes, the Portman Group has launched a new infographic video explaining how the schemes work to promote responsible drinking, tackle alcohol-related crime and disorder and improve the vibrancy of night time economies.
Official government statistics (ONS and HSCIC) show significant and sustained falls in rates of binge drinking (down 20%), alcohol-related violent crime (down 34%) and underage drinking (down 36%), during the last decade.
Polling carried out by YouGov has shown that Police and members of the public attributed falling rates of alcohol-related crime to better town centre management and better partnership working. A significant majority (64%) of Police surveyed believed that effective partnership working between Police, local authorities and licensed premises had increased over the last decade.
Portman Group Chief Executive Henry Ashworth said:
“Drinks companies are committed to reducing the harms related to alcohol misuse and support a range of schemes that are helping to make the county’s high streets safer places for people to socialise and for businesses to thrive. By working together and making the most of existing industry supported schemes Nottinghamshire is leading the way.”
Paddy Tipping, Police and Crime Commissioner for Nottinghamshire, said:
“The success of a unified approach in the work to tackle alcohol abuse has paid huge dividends. Nottingham and Nottinghamshire are now acknowledged one of the leaders in this work, which was our ambition when we launched my county-wide alcohol strategy in 2013. I’m grateful that the LAAA status has strengthened our work with high-level expertise and support, and we have seen initiatives introduced that fundamentally help those most vulnerable to alcohol-related harm. This is real progress.”
Cllr Tony Page, Licensing spokesman on the Local Government Association’s Safer and Stronger Communities Board, said:
“The night-time economy is a major contributor to vibrant town centres and social activity and councils want to ensure the mix of bars, clubs and restaurants is appealing to residents and visitors.
“However, there are also challenges associated with the night time economy, which are beyond the resources of any individual organisation or business to resolve.
“We therefore welcome these initiatives to provide targeted solutions to local problems, and the work of the Portman group to coordinate them. Together, councils, businesses, the drinks industry and local police can work to create safe, enjoyable high streets and evening experiences.”