New alcohol course option to tackle Bolton's drunken criminals

PC Jane Wilcock with a fixed penalty notice which are given for drunk and disorderly behaviour

PC Jane Wilcock with a fixed penalty notice which are given for drunk and disorderly behaviour

First published in News The Bolton News: Photograph of the Author by , crime reporter

THE number of drunken revellers caught committing alcohol-related public order offences should fall now a scheme has been launched to crack down on reoffending.

The Alcohol Diversion Scheme (ADS), which has been launched across Greater Manchester, aims to help people reflect on the impact drinking has on themselves and other people.

Drunk and disorderly people are issued with a £90 penalty but will be able to complete a three-hour course for half the price — £45 — and have the penalty dropped.

If people do not pay the fine within the given time they will be forced to attend court and will end up with a criminal record if convicted.

Since the launch last month, more people in Bolton have opted for the course than any other division across Greater Manchester.

Courses are expected to start taking place from September.

Bolton-based PC Natalie Dolan, licensing and anti-social behaviour lead for Greater Manchester Police, said: “Personally, I think it is looking at the binge-drinkers because public services are paying out for binge-drinkers and this aims to prevent offending rather than having to pick up the pieces the next day.

“A lot of the people who go out on a Friday and Saturday night get a bit drunk and things spiral out of hand.

“We are not aiming this scheme at alcoholics.”

The scheme was launched in Hertfordshire and has since been drafted out at 19 forces, including GMP.

The scheme has drastically reduced reoffending in some areas, with only seven per cent of people committing similar crimes again.

The course will involve people explaining the reason for them being there and then they will watch footage about someone being killed by one punch and how it impacts the future of the offender and the victim’s family.

They will be given information to take away to help prevent repeat offences.

If people do not attend the course after expressing an interest they will have to pay a bigger fine.

Sue Green, diversion scheme lead for Druglink, said: “The programme we deliver is interactive, and encourages offenders to face up to their behaviour, the dangers to their own health, and the potentially tragic consequences of alcohol-fuelled violence to others.

"The aim is not to preach, but to help people take more responsibility for their lives, and to moderate their future behaviour and alcohol consumption.”

Ms Green helped to spearhead the course with a pilot scheme in Hertfordshire in 2007.

Comments (1)

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8:49am Thu 14 Aug 14

Gore Seer says...

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Its Simple To Cut The Alci Problem Stop Supermarket Sales And Shop Sales, Its That Simple. Gore Seer
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