On the 27 January the Home Office launched a new phase of the programme to tackle alcohol-related crime and health harms and create a more diverse night-time economy. The programme initially launched in February 2014 covering 20 areas.
Each area will be supported by the government to implement their plan which will see local agencies including licensing authorities, health bodies, and police coming together with businesses to address problems caused by alcohol in their local area.
Sarah Newton, Minister for Vulnerability, Safeguarding and Countering Extremism, said:
Local alcohol action areas demonstrate the government’s commitment to work with industry, police, local authorities and other partners to make our streets safer.
Violent crimes involving alcohol have fallen over the last decade - but it is clear that alcohol misuse has a significant impact on communities across the country.
Our pubs, bars and restaurants make a valuable contribution to our economy and our society and it is important that people are able to enjoy them without the fear of becoming a victim of crime.
Alcohol-related crime and disorder costs an estimated £11 billion per year in England and Wales, and the government wants to support local communities in reducing the scenes of drunkenness and violence that blight communities, particularly at night.
The first phase of LAAA saw a variety of interventions introduced to reduce street drinking, vulnerability and violence. These ranged from club hosts patrolling bars to offer help to those who are vulnerable, to mandatory safeguarding training for taxi drivers, increased trading standards activity on underage sales of alcohol, to a triage service for street drinkers, and even a non-alcoholic bar for teenagers.
The 33 new areas will be supported in developing and implementing their plans by specialist support managers. They will receive support and expertise in crime prevention, licensing and public health from the Home Office, Public Health England, the Welsh government and Nightworks, a company that specialises in diversifying the night-time economy.
Sarah Hanratty, Interim Chief Executive for the Portman Group said:
We warmly welcome the second round of the LAAAs; and the opportunity to support local communities in reducing alcohol-related harm and creating safe and thriving night time economies.
Drinks producers and retailers have an important role to play and are committed to reducing the harms related to alcohol misuse through their support of the local alcohol partnership schemes; a range of initiatives that work to make local communities safer and create great places for people to live, work and socialise.
The programme will run for 2 years and LAAA areas will also be put in touch with mentors who have successfully tackled the issues that they face and will come together to problem solve and share best practice.
The 33 local alcohol action areas are:
- Isle of Wight