With Dorset Police having received over 8,000 crime reports linked to alcohol between October 2020 and September 2021, the Force is backing Alcohol Awareness Week which runs until 21 November.
Over a third of these reports were for alcohol-related violence against individuals. In addition, there were nearly 1,700 reported incidents of anti-social behaviour (ASB) fuelled by alcohol.
Across the week, Dorset Police will be sharing information about spotting the signs of alcohol reliance and the negative effects it can have on relationships with friends and family.
In addition, there will be real-life stories, including the experience of someone whose drinking played a big part in their offending. Talking anonymously, the person said: “When I went to court and they were showing me these pictures, I was like ‘did I really do that to someone?’
“Addiction is one of those things that you don’t see coming. I wish people would realise before it takes hold of them.”
Chief Inspector Lindsay Dudfield, prevention lead for Dorset Police, said: “Alcohol and violence are a toxic cocktail. This awareness week is an opportunity for us all to think about how we drink and the impact that alcohol might have beyond just a sore head the next morning.
“Drinking can become a central part of the way we spend time with others and as police we see some of the worst consequences of this, from abusive, rowdy or intimidating behaviour, to violent assaults and fatal road traffic collisions.
“We will continue to target alcohol-fuelled crime and anti-social behaviour, including our continued work through Operation Relentless – the Force’s commitment to our communities to tackle ASB.”
Chief Inspector Lindsay Dudfield added: “It is never too late to take back control from alcohol. I urge people to start conversations and listen to each other so that we can all make more informed choices. Help and support is out there.”
If you are worried about your alcohol use or if you are concerned about a friend or family member, help is available: https://alcoholchange.org.uk/help-and-support/get-help-now
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