Find us on Facebook

alcohol health alliance uk

Tackling alcohol-related violence in Hartlepool

Posted 28/06/11

The NHS is playing an increasingly important role in tackling alcohol-related violence in Hartlepool, according to pioneering research commissioned by Balance, the North East Alcohol Office.

A&E staff at University Hospital in Hartlepool have been gathering information from people who have been involved in alcohol-related assaults to establish the impact of alcohol misuse in Hartlepool.

As part of an ongoing regional information sharing project, A&E staff have been recording where and when an incident took place and whether a weapon was used. The information has been shared with the Safer Hartlepool Partnership to help them develop strategic and interventions to reduce alcohol-related violence and reduce A&E admissions.

Findings from the project to date include:

The information has also highlighted the strong link between domestic violence and alcohol in Hartlepool and staff in A&E are working closely with the local domestic violence service, Harbour, to provide advice and support for victims in the town.

The North East is the first area in the UK to implement the project region-wide. It is led by Balance, the North East Alcohol Office and local Community Safety Partnerships including Safer Stockton Partnership and Safer Hartlepool Partnership, which involve local authorities, the police, the health service and other key agencies.

Sue Taylor, Partnerships Manager at Balance said: “These findings highlight the fact that excess alcohol consumption fuels violent crime, increasing the likelihood that North Easterners will be involved in an assault – either as the perpetrator or the victim.

“The widespread availability and affordability of alcohol is to blame – and we need to address these issues to reduce ‘second hand harm’ caused by alcohol misuse.

“A big problem we face is pre-loading – or drinking copious amounts of alcohol to prepare for a night out. People are hitting our towns and cities already drunk – and some are ready to fight. This is putting an unnecessary burden on our A&E Departments, but by collecting and sharing assault data, the NHS is playing a really important role in tackling alcohol-related violence at its source.”

Sally Forth, Community Safety Manager at Safer Hartlepool Partnership, said: “Tackling alcohol misuse and its links to violence and domestic abuse is a priority for the Safer Hartlepool Partnership. The provision of A&E data has helped the Partnership gain a better understanding of these problems, helping us to inform our actions.”