Police campaign educates public on drinking safely
A South Wales Police campaign has been praised for preventing, enforcing and educating the public on alcohol related violence and the law surrounding alcohol.
The Know the Score, Drink Less Enjoy More intervention combines awareness raising alongside a period of enhanced communication and enforcement of the law related to serving drinks to people who are already drunk.
The launch phase took place during the Six Nations Rugby tournament last year - with strong support from the Welsh Rugby Union - and has
continued throughout Rugby World Cup, Fresher's, Christmas and this years Six Nations Rugby tournament. The aims of the campaign is to:
- Increase awareness of the law around serving alcohol to people who are drunk
- Help support bar staff in refusing service of alcohol to people who are drunk
- Deter sales of alcohol to drunks
- Promote responsible drinking
South Wales Police and Crime Commissioner Alun Michael said: "This initiative arises from the fact that in South Wales we want to do more to prevent the violence and social damage that often arises from misuse of alcohol. It may seem ambitious to want to change the culture of drinking in our towns and cities, but we believe that if we give people the facts many will respond positively and responsibly - and that's now been borne out by the evaluation of the initiative.
"The initial evaluation published in July 2015 provided South Wales Police with great insight into alcohol related behaviour and violence. This next evaluation gives greater depth and reasoning behind the behaviours of people that consume alcohol within our night time economy venues throughout South Wales. The evaluation proves that the campaign has been a catalyst for change within the minds of the community.
The campaign has also allowed partners to work together to come up with revolutionary and innovative ways of facing alcohol related violence and the law surrounding alcohol. E- learning has been piloted in Swansea and Cardiff as a resource to up-skill and ensure pub and bar staff learn about the responsibilities and standards expected of them.
The success of the campaign is testament to the excellent relationships we have with our partners which include Public Health, Local Authorities, University of Wales Trinity Saint David, University of South Wales, Swansea University, The National Hospitality Academy and other organisations."
An evaluation carried out by the Centre for Public Health at Liverpool John Moores University found that
- The proportion of participants who correctly reported that it is illegal for a bar server to sell alcohol to someone who is drunk increased significantly (from 48.0% to 62.4%);
- The proportion of participants who correctly reported that it is illegal to purchase alcohol for a drunk friend increased significantly (from 50.2% to 63.4%);
- The proportion of participants agreeing that getting drunk was socially accepted in the city's nightlife reduced significantly (from 86.6% to 75.0%);
South Wales Police Assistant Chief Constable, Richards Lewis said: "The Know the Score campaign has been an asset to front line police officers over the past year. The message is clear and concise. The report published is essential in helping us to understand the true impact of the Know the Score, Drink Less Enjoy More campaign. It identifies how we can do even more to tackle alcohol related behaviour.
"There is still work to be done however the Know the Score campaign has set a clear agenda and has provided the necessary information to the people that need it."
Chair of the Cardiff Licensees Forum, Nick Newman said: "Being a part of the Know the Score campaign has allowed the night time economy venues throughout South Wales to come together and try and change the behaviour of consumers but also reinforce the law with bar and club staff."
Zara Quigg, lead author of the report said: "UK nightlife environments are key settings for alcohol consumption, drunkenness and related harms. The Know the Score #DrinkLessEnjoyMore intervention presents an important step in addressing this culture of drunkenness through tackling the sale of alcohol to drunks.
"Findings from the intervention evaluation suggest some positive outcomes. Increases were observed in nightlife user knowledge of the laws relating to selling alcohol to, and purchasing of alcohol for, drunks in bars, pubs and nightclubs. Further, nightlife user and bar staff acceptability of drunkenness in nightlife appears to have reduced.
"Such results are extremely encouraging, however further intervention is required to continue to prevent drunkenness and associated harms in nightlife settings in South Wales. Know the Score #DrinkLessEnjoyMore should form a key feature of future work."
The campaign evaluation will be discussed at the South Wales Violence Reduction Conference being held at the Marriot, Cardiff on the 8th March 2016.
South Wales Police and Crime Commissioner, Alun Michael added: "This conference shows how South Wales Police successfully works is partnership with other organisations to cut crime. During the conference partners will have the opportunity to explore theory and discover new ways of making South Wales an even more safer place to live, work and visit."