Tackling alcohol misuse in London

Alcohol is a major issue for London, with the Department of Health estimating that 280,000 Londoners are dependent on alcohol, with a further 2.4 million drinking at levels which are harmful or placing them at increasing risk.

The effects of alcohol misuse in London

Alcohol related harm accounts for 35% of all A&E attendances, and up to 70% of all attendances at peak times over weekends. Alcohol is also strongly associated with traffic accidents and pedestrian injuries and fatalities.

Alcohol is strongly linked with a wide range of criminal offences including drink driving, being drunk and disorderly, criminal damage, assaults, domestic violence, and other public disorder offences.

While London doesn’t have the highest rate of drinking (per region) within the UK it does have high rates of alcohol attributable recorded crimes, violent crimes and sexual violence. 

We know that Londoners are concerned by alcohol related crime and nuisance.  We also know many are concerned about the long term health issues.

The economic impacts are also significant with London paying some over £2 billion per year to deal with the consequences of alcohol.

How are we tackling the issue?

The GLA has supported work with various partners to help improve our relationship with alcohol and reduce the negative impacts it has on London and our communities. This has included:

  • running innovative London wide festive campaigns in 2014 and 2015 to help people enjoy the party season while reducing the burden on the emergency services
  • supporting work to support local licensing work and enhance the role of public health
  • promote the use of   identification and brief advice as an effective prevention tool
  • help develop a new audit tool to allow local authorities to assess their response to alcohol
  • exploring the potential for new responses to alcohol related crime via the Alcohol Abstinence Requirement


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