Scheme set to combat problems of booze crime in Doncaster

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Doncaster is set to be targeted by a scheme to cut the harmful effects of excessive drinking.

The borough has been chosen to take part in the second round of a Government project, launched this week, to tackle the issue.

Thirty three areas across England and Wales are being set up as Local Alcohol Action Areas (LAAAs) to combat drink-fuelled crime and disorder.

Each action area will receive support and expertise from the Home Office, the Department of Health, the Welsh Government, Public Health England and Public Health Wales.

The LAAAs areas will be put in touch with mentor areas that have successfully tackled the same issues faced by alcohol action areas.

Dr Rupert Suckling, Doncaster Council Director of Public Health, said: “Our two areas of focus will be the Safe Haven scheme and developing alternative approaches and care pathways for people who are dependent drinkers, who resist change.

“When our Safe Haven scheme has run in Doncaster Town Centre it has provided somewhere that revellers in town on a Saturday night can receive help and support, both medical and practical, to minimise the number of A&E attendances along with reducing the risk of people being left vulnerable to crime.”

Councillor Pat Knight, cabinet member for Public Health and Wellbeing said: “Doncaster Council and its partners are working together to tackle the issue of alcohol-related health problems. Being a Local Alcohol Action Area supports our ongoing work to help people understand alcohol, its misuse and the importance of prevention.

Through working closely with our partners and stakeholders, work is also being conducted on service provision, promotion and early identification, so we can help provide people with effective treatment and reduce the number of hospital admissions.”

It is the latest scheme to try to tackle the drink related problems.

Last month an initial Safe Haven project was run in Doncaster town centre to offer drinkers and party-goers support when they hurt themselves or to keep them safe when they had too much to drink.

The move was to help take pressure off of the local accident and emergency departments over the festive period.

The project ran in the run up to Christmas.

It was spearheaded by Doncaster’s Public Health Team, supported by a range of organisations including Rotherham Doncaster and South Humber NHS Foundation Trust (RDaSH), Doncaster’s Street Pastors, Doncaster Pub Watch, the police.

Local data shows that there were nearly 4,000 alcohol related accident and emergency attendances to Doncaster Royal Infirmary in 2015, an increase when compared to 2013 of 13 per cent.

Other action that has already been set up in the town centre is the setting up of a Cumulative Impact Zone which restricts the number of new bars that can be opened.