PCC Tony Hogg lobbies parliament to take greater action on alcohol related crime
Devon and Cornwall Police and Crime Commissioner Tony Hogg is in London today (16 march) lobbying MPs and peers on the importance of tackling alcohol related harm.
Tony Hogg, and other PCCs from across the political spectrum who form National PCC group on alcohol harm, hope to raise awareness of the issue and discuss how PCCs and parliamentarians can work together to make more progress.
PCCs and Parliamentarians will be joined by colleagues from the National Police Chiefs Council, the Local Government Association and the Home Office.
The group’s focus is on reducing the harm and cost to society of alcohol misuse by changing attitudes, deterring offenders and tackling irresponsible supply.
Mr Hogg says key topics will be:
Reductions in levels of alcohol related harm, in particular violent crime;
Vibrant, popular and safe night-time economies which everyone can enjoy;
A clear legislative framework which promotes responsible licensing and provides effective tools to address local problems;
Reducing the pressure on policing, healthcare and other partners through excessive and irresponsible drinking.
Key issues will be on the table, including minimum unit pricing, the drink driving limit, licensing reform and the role partnership working can play in harm reduction. The role that education and awareness can play in driving cultural change will also be discussed.
“Alcohol related harm and crime is estimated to cost society in excess of £21 billion per year,” said Mr Hogg.
“It also has a devastating impact on the lives of victims and of whole communities. These costs are far too high and action needs to be taken.
“Tackling this problem is a shared responsibility –policing, councils, government, industry and the drinkers themselves all have a role to play in helping to make our communities safer and reducing the harm caused by alcohol.
“This is not about stopping people having a drink or having a good time. We want to work with the alcohol industry to get the balance right.”
“I want to see a culture change for alcohol similar to that achieved in smoking, where being excessively drunk is seen as socially unacceptable. People need to understand the impact such behaviour has on themselves and those around them and take personal responsibility for their behaviour.”
Mr Hogg, who is stepping down as PCC for Devon and Cornwall in the upcoming May elections, added: “I am immensely proud of what we have achieved so far and I wish my successor as chair of the group every success.
“Change will not happen overnight but we have already started to make a difference. We are actively working with the government to champion the need for reform and are working with partners in health, academia and industry to push for change and to develop and promote best practice across the country.“
The PCC Alcohol Working Group was formed in November 2014 with the launch of its National Alcohol Action Plan.
The following PCCs are members of the Alcohol Working Group:
Devon and Cornwall (Chair)