Suffolk: New weapon in the battle against problem drinking on the streets

Tim Passmore, Suffolk Police and Crime Commissioner

Tim Passmore, Suffolk Police and Crime Commissioner - Credit: Archant

Drunken revellers arrested for minor offences will be offered the chance to halve their fine from today – if they go on a drink awareness course.

The Alcohol Diversion Scheme aims to reduce crime and anti-social behaviour by educating people about the harmful effects drink can have.

People issued with an on-the-spot penalty notice will be offered the opportunity to enrol on the course which will cost them £45.

Offenders can choose to opt-out but will instead have to pay the fine of £90.

The course, which has been piloted in other areas of the country, sees offenders take part in a three-hour workshop aimed at tackling crime.

The programme, offered by charity Druglink, encourages those arrested to face-up to the reality of their actions, highlights health dangers and shows the consequences of violent behaviour.

Assistant Chief Constable Tim Newcomb said: “One of Suffolk Constabulary’s main priorities is to reduce crime and anti-social behaviour.

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“Alcohol-fuelled crime, regardless of how minor, can have a significant impact on people’s quality of life and this scheme will aim to reduce offending by educating people about the consequences of their actions.” Tim Passmore, Police and Crime Commissioner for Suffolk has made alcohol-related crime his main issue for this month.

He said: “Binge drinking is having a truly devastating effect on our society, both nationally and locally.

“I am not against people going out and enjoying a drink but we do need to encourage everyone to drink responsibly. I really hope this programme will help anti-social drinkers to modify their behaviour in future.”

He said that as well a blight on the night-time economy, dealing with drinkers was a serious drain on police resources.

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