Giles McNeill, Nettleham Parish Councillor, this week expressed his concern over new official figures that have revealed a soaring number of hospital admissions due to alcohol misuse, and the effect of alcohol in pushing up crime and disorder.
According to research by the NHS Information Centre:
· The number of admissions to NHS hospital due to alcohol has soared by 52 per cent over the last decade.Growing alcohol misuse has coincided with new 24 hour licensing laws imposed by the Government, and a failure to enforce effectively the laws, which exist against under-age drinking. The Government has also raided budgets for the promotion of healthy living to meet NHS deficits.
· 1 in 10 of all these incidents now involves those under 18 – the legal drinking age.
· Across the East Midlands, there were16,016 hospital admissions due to alcohol last year.
· 1 in 3 of all 15 year olds think it is acceptable to get drunk at least once a week.
· Half of all violent attacks are committed by those under the influence of alcohol.
Giles McNeill said:
“There’s nothing wrong with adults having a good night out, but under-age and binge drinking fuels crime and anti-social behaviour. Labour Ministers talk endlessly about cracking down on alcohol-related violence, but these new figures expose Gordon Brown’s complacency and the knock-on effect on the NHS.
“The Labour Government’s failure to enforce the law sends totally the wrong message about under-age drinking. We need greater social responsibility, more powers for local communities over licensing, and an end to some parents turning a blind eye to their children’s drinking.”