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Assistant police chief backs ‘drunk tanks’ for Dorset
PRIVATELY-RUN “drunk tanks” should be considered to tackle alcohol-fuelled disorder in Dorset according to the Assistant Chief Constable.
Several Police Chiefs have backed proposals which could see intoxicated revellers charged £400 to be cared for in holding cells until they sober up. Assistant Chief Constable David Lewis said: “Dorset Police welcomes ideas aimed at tackling alcohol abuse and we will consider any serious and detailed proposals carefully.”
Head of Northamptonshire Police, Chief Constable Adrian Lee said the police service should not have to be responsible for the increasing number of revellers who require medical treatment after drinking to excess.
The Association of Chief Police Officers, which is launching a campaign on alcohol harm to coincide with university freshers’ season has also said problem drinking is on the increase.
Mr Lewis said: “Alcohol is a major contributory factor in all types of crime, especially violent crime, and dealing with the effects of alcohol abuse puts a huge strain on the emergency services.”
One night in a police holding cell can cost the tax-payer £385, a comparable price to a night in a top hotel.
Councillor David Smith said: “The full and true cost of dealing with a drunk through the police, hospital and legal fees is probably in the region of £1,000, so they should have to fully recover the costs.”
This week Dorset Police is carrying out additional patrols and offering advice to students during freshers’ week in support of the nationwide ‘In Focus’ alcohol awareness campaign.
Mr Lewis said: “With regard to the general issue, my advice to members of the public is clear: by all means enjoy yourself, but at the same time stay aware of how much you have had to drink and keep yourself safe. “Drinking to excess leaves you very vulnerable.”
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