Closing time leads to booze fuelled crime

Crime story
Crime story

THE majority of violent attacks on adults involved alcohol and often took place after the traditional pub closing time, analysis of the latest crime figures has shown.

Of the more than 1.3 million violent incidents reported in England for the year 2013/14, some 53% occurred after one of the parties had been drinking.

Analysis of the latest crime figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) also showed men were far more likely to be victims of alcohol-related violence (62%) compared with women (38%).

Two-thirds of violence between strangers also involved alcohol, while one-third of domestic violence occured after drinking, the figures revealed.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the proportions of violent incidents that were alcohol-related increased as the day progressed – from 23% of violent incidents between noon and 6pm, to 52% between 6pm and 10pm, and 83% between 10pm and midnight.

The trend continued into the early hours – with alcohol featuring in 84% of all violent incidents between midnight and 6am.

According to the Crime Survey for England and Wales, violent incidents at the weekend were twice as likely to involve alcohol (70%) as during the week.

Andrew Brown, director of policy with charity DrugScope, said: “Today’s statistics on alcohol-related violence show the extent of the problem, with more than half of all violent incidents involving alcohol.

“DrugScope’s state of the sector report, published today, found that almost half of substance misuse services are seeing an increased demand for alcohol treatment. We also know that every £1 invested in alcohol treatment saves £5 in health, care and criminal justice costs.

“Making sure that people who need treatment are able to get it must be an important part of the response to alcohol-related violence.”

Analysis of the ONS statistics showed 13% of all threats to kill offences involved alcohol, while some 43% of assaults on police officers occurred after drinking.

The figures also showed the most likely time, for every day of the week, that alcohol-related crime would be recorded.

This included 23.00-23.59 on a Friday (17% of all the day’s incidents), 00.00-00.59am on a Saturday (14%), and 01.00-01.59am on a Sunday (16%). Some 9% of all alcohol-related offending on a Monday took place during the hour from 1am.

Additional analysis on the nature of some alcohol-related violence was also provided from the previous year’s crime statistics, as well as separate figures from some police forces.