First national guidance on tackling street drinking issued

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homeless-manThe first national guidance on tackling street drinking has been launched by the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs). Written by Alcohol Concern with input from national bodies, the guidance suggests effective strategies for working with street drinkers, particularly those most resistant to help.

The project to support the development and implementation of the guidance is being led by Nottinghamshire PCC Paddy Tipping, with the active involvement of other PCCs from across the country. The goal is to reach those people who have ‘continually fallen out of the grip of help’, he said, as well as ‘open the gateway’ to tackling serious associated issues such as exploitation, domestic violence and mental health problems.

The response to street drinking begins at the ‘strategic level’, says the document, stressing that ‘evidence suggests that no single approach works on its own’. Among the key recommendations are establishing a multi-agency operational group, encouraging the commissioning of alcohol services that focus on change-resistant drinkers, and working in partnership with the retail trade. It also includes examples of good practice from across the country.

‘This work highlights the serious drain on resources that just a small number of street drinkers can have on public services,’ said Paddy Tipping. ‘It offers PCCs and other agencies positive strategies for reducing this burden. These strategies rely heavily on effective partnership working and show that the management of this problem can be achieved with the right framework.’

Tackling street drinking: police and crime commissioner guidance on best practice available at www.apccs.police.uk