Barking and Dagenham's booze shame

ALCOHOL-fuelled fights and drunken accidents are responsible for thousands of hospital admissions each year with Barking and Dagenham having a higher number than most other boroughs. Findings published last week by the London Drink Debate suggest that alc

ALCOHOL-fuelled fights and drunken accidents are responsible for thousands of hospital admissions each year with Barking and Dagenham having a higher number than most other boroughs.

Findings published last week by the London Drink Debate suggest that alcohol has a "strongly negative" effect on communities, creating feelings of fear and intimidation and causing antisocial behaviour.

Barking and Dagenham families felt the worst impact of drinking was violence in our streets, rowdy behaviour and admissions to A&E.

Around 1,755 men and women per 100,000 people ended up in hospital through drink-fuelled fights and drunken mishaps in the borough last year. This is much higher than the London average of 1,488.


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And alcohol-related crime is estimated to responsible for 45 per cent of all offences committed.

In Barking and Dagenham the number of petty and violent crimes committed by drunken louts is also significantly higher than average.

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Police Borough Commander Matt Bell said: "When I first became the Borough Commander in July of last year I was asked what I felt were the top three causes of crime and disorder in the borough. My answer? Alcohol, alcohol and alcohol."

An NHS spokesman said: "Addressing alcohol misuse is a key priority for NHS Barking and Dagenham.

"We are working in partnership with the council on a variety of initiatives, and encourage people not to be afraid to ask their GP or practice nurse for help or to contact Alcoholics Anonymous.

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