A major alcohol awareness campaign has been unveiled in Derbyshire uniting police, licensing teams, community volunteers, door supervisors, pub and club staff and PubWatch to encourage responsible drinking.
“Intoxicated” is being rolled out across the county following a successful pilot in Buxton in which a multitude of partners have worked together trialling new approaches to reduce harm and vulnerability caused by excessive drink.
It comes as Derbyshire marks national Alcohol Awareness Week, which runs from 13 to 19 November, and emphasises the importance of professionals and licensees working together to promote a safer night time economy and reduce the impact of drunkenness on the region’s emergency services.
The campaign, which was officially unveiled in Chesterfield and Derby over the weekend of 17/18 November, alongside a series of localised events, is part of Derbyshire Police and Crime Commissioner Hardyal Dhindsa’s Safe Night Out strategy combating alcohol-related crime and antisocial behaviour.
Up to 120 licensed premises will be backing the campaign and proactively promoting the messages behind the project with staff and customers alike.
The Commissioner is national lead for alcohol and substance misuse for the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners (APCC) and is at the forefront of efforts to promote a safer drinking culture where revellers are encouraged to take greater control of their behaviour on a night out and licensed staff are given the training they need to refuse alcohol or entry to anyone already intoxicated.
The new campaign will support these goals by:
- Providing bespoke training to bar staff on the law and responsible sales.
- Promoting a No Entry scheme whereby door supervisors refuse entry to those already intoxicated.
- Delivering refresher training for Police Officers on licensing matters and their powers.
- Educating drinkers – particularly the young and those yet to reach the legal drinking age – about the dangers and legal implications of excessive drinking.
- Relaunching the Alcohol Diversion scheme whereby those arrested for alcohol related offences will be given the opportunity to accept a fixed penalty ticket and a reduced fine if they attend a three-hour course to understand the effects of drinking and risks of over consumption.
Commenting on the launch, Mr Dhindsa said: “Alcohol misuse causes untold damage on individuals, their families and society. As well as the health implications, drinking to excess increases vulnerability and leaves people at risk of becoming a victim or perpetrator of crime and that’s something we all need to take responsibility for.
“No single organisation can reduce the harm of alcohol misuse alone. This campaign encourages us all to buy-in to the idea of team work and confront the serious issue of alcohol together to improve the safety of our county.
“This is not about responding to problems when they occur - it’s about being proactive and preventing violence and sexual crimes before they happen by removing the opportunity for people to lose control. Derbyshire is already a safe place but we want to make it even safer.”
Mr Dhindsa is working with a host of partners for the initiative including representatives from Derbyshire Constabulary, the City and County’s licensing teams, local authorities, EMAS, publicans, door staff, street pastors and local Pubwatch members.
Paul Markham, Chief Inspector within Derbyshire Constabulary’s North Division, has seen ‘Intoxicated’ work successfully in Buxton over a five-year period, leading to its county-wide introduction in 2017.
He said: “This campaign is, of course, about encouraging responsible drinking and ensuring everyone has a safe time whilst out socialising, but it is also about enforcing the law in this area.
“For example, did you know it’s an offence to purchase alcohol for someone who is already drunk?
“If the person you’re about to buy a round for is already showing signs of being heavily under the influence, I’d strongly advise not jeopardising their safety – and potentially that of other members of the public – by giving them further alcohol.
“And, if you’re drunk, don’t be surprised if door staff don’t let you in and if people working behind the bar refuse to serve you.
“The ‘Intoxicated’ branding, which will be visible via poster sites and on the clothing of members of staff, will hopefully provide timely cues and reminders to revellers to drink more responsibly.
“If people make sensible decisions to look after themselves and look after each other, everybody can enjoy a safer night out.”
In addition to a branded advertising campaign featuring in entertainment venues and on staff uniforms, the awareness project will also be launched across social media platforms.
Licensing staff have held meetings with venues across all divisions in Derbyshire to fully explain the aims of the campaign and gain their acceptance and support. Safe & Responsible manuals have also been produced with key legal information and advice for staff. These include a “Top Tips” section for the Designated Premises Supervisor (DPS) along with a variety of logs to assist with essential record keeping.