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Drunk fines fall by a third despite hospital admissions rising –

Tony Arbour
“Random police visits to A&Es on trouble nights targeting repeat drunks with fines”

London: The number of fines handed out to London’s drunks are drastically falling, despite hospital admissions rising year on year.

The new figures come as part of the next phase of GLA Conservative Tony Arbour’s campaign* to cut the cost of binge drinking.

New FOI figures for the Capital show:
· Drunk fines dropping by a third between 2005 and 2013 (3,005 penalties handed out in 2005 compared to 2,063 fines in 2013)¹
· Hospital admissions nearly doubling (74,457 in 2004/5² compared to 132,310 in 2012/13³)

Drunk people who repeatedly abuse A&E services are costing £52m every year.4

GLA Conservative Tony Arbour is urging police to visit A&Es randomly on trouble nights and target repeat drunks with fines.

Tony Arbour, GLA Conservative London Assembly Member, who uncovered the figures, said:

“We need to urgently crack down on bingers who repeatedly hog our A&Es and take up police time because they can’t handle their drink. They are costing the Capital millions of pounds and denying treatment and care to those who really need the help. Not only should we double fines for drunkenness to £180, but the police should randomly go into A&Es on trouble nights and slap the penalties on these people. I’ve written to the Ministry of Justice and am working closely with the Mayor of London. First, he needs to lobby Parliament to increase fines, next he needs to get the police working closely with other emergency services to easily target offenders and provide the deterrent.”

*GLA Conservative Tony Arbour is leading an ongoing campaign to cut the cost of binge drinking. In June 2014, he wrote a report “On the Wagon” which called for drunk fines to be doubled to £180 and Booze Buses and Sobering Centres to be expanded in the Capital. This week, he has formally written to the Home Office and Ministry of Justice and is tabling a motion at the London Assembly. Copy of the letters and motions available on request.

¹ London Metropolitan Police, 2014 FOI data provided to GLA Conservative Tony Arbour
² Public Health England, LAPE: Alcohol-related hospital admissions, 2012