BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific Arabic Spanish Russian Chinese Welsh
BBCi CATEGORIES   TV   RADIO   COMMUNICATE   WHERE I LIVE   INDEX    SEARCH 

BBC NEWS
 You are in:  UK
Front Page 
World 
UK 
England 
Northern Ireland 
Scotland 
Wales 
UK Politics 
Business 
Sci/Tech 
Health 
Education 
Entertainment 
Talking Point 
In Depth 
AudioVideo 


Commonwealth Games 2002

BBC Sport

BBC Weather

SERVICES 
Monday, 4 March, 2002, 01:17 GMT
Drink crime data 'meaningless'
police arrest
Police may not know if crimes are alcohol-related
Data for alcohol-related violence and crime in the UK is unreliable because authorities fail to keep accurate enough records, according to new research.

The police view the technology used to track such incidents as inadequate, the study by the drinks industry's Portman Group found.


All existing procedures have such serious conceptual and methodological weaknesses that they are unable to provide any truly objective and reliable data

Dr Peter Marsh

Claims that between 70% and 80% of late-night violence in town centres is alcohol-related are also "meaningless", according to the research.

A quarter of police forces kept no record of alcohol-related crime, said the study, conducted by the Social Issues Research Centre in Oxford.

'Weaknesses'

And just one in 10 forces kept data that could be directly compared with others.

Accident and emergency departments fared little better - with the highest estimates of alcohol-related injuries coming from hospitals with the least reliable records.

Consultants are, in any case, divided on the extent to which alcohol contributes to injuries, according to the study.

And fewer than one in 20 town or city centre managers keep records of alcohol-related violence.

Dr Peter Marsh, who led the research, said: "All existing procedures have such serious conceptual and methodological weaknesses that they are unable to provide any truly objective and reliable data."

The Portman Group aims to help prevent misuse of alcohol and to promote sensible drinking.

See also:

28 Feb 02 | Health
Alcohol 'nearly killed me'
28 Feb 02 | UK
Tackling drug-related crime
17 Aug 01 | Health
Concern over alcoholism care
02 Jul 01 | Health
Drink linked to hospital visits
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more UK stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more UK stories