Four booze-fuelled attacks every day

SUFFOLK police today revealed they dealt with more than 4,600 cases of alcohol-related violence last year.

SUFFOLK police today revealed they dealt with more than 4,600 cases of alcohol-related violence last year.

In Ipswich alone, the number of boozy brawls and assaults was 1,413 - the equivalent to four every day and a rise of more than 20 per cent over a four-year period.

Although the figures include more than just night time attacks in town centres, one of Britain's leading alcohol campaigners is calling for restrictions nationally on cheap-price promotions.

Alcohol Concern chief executive Don Shenker said: “Over the past 25 years alcohol has become progressively more affordable and venues in town centres routinely use price promotions to compete for customers. The result leads to crime and disorder on a scale police often struggle to cope with.

“A national code to regulate sales is a necessary step in the right direction towards cutting such problems, and the government is currently consulting on such measures.

“This will reduce the burden on police and help make town centres safer and more attractive for the majority of responsible drinkers.”

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The number of alcohol-related attacks in Ipswich was virtually the same in 2008 (1,413) and 2007 (1,417). However, in 2005 there were only 1,164 violent incidents linked to booze.

The figures can be made public after The Evening Star submitted a Freedom of Information request.

Becky Kidd-Stanton, operations inspector at Ipswich police station, said: “Dealing with alcohol-related incidents is important and that's why it is part of our strategy. Excess alcohol often sheds inhibitions to the extent where it is hard to reason with a person.

“We like to be able to engage with people. That's what our officers are trained to do. Unfortunately alcohol means people don't react in a way they normally react. They may be confrontational or aggressive to officers or members of the public.

“People's behaviour changes once they have alcohol. It's really sad to speak to people the next day. They are really nice people that were on their way home from a pub or club and have assaulted someone or behaved in a way they would never normally have done and that decision could colour their future.

“We have been working closely with pubs and clubs to try to achieve responsible alcohol sales and the management of supply of alcohol to people.”