Page last updated at 14:53 GMT, Monday, 18 January 2010

Buckfast: Freedom of Information request

Buckfast label
On average Buckfast was mentioned in three Strathclyde crime reports a day

New evidence linking Buckfast Tonic Wine to crime has been uncovered by a BBC Scotland investigation.

A Freedom of Information request showed the drink was mentioned in 5,638 crime reports in Strathclyde from 2006-2009, equating to three a day on average.

Here are the questions we asked Strathclyde Police. Some were not answered as they were considered to be exempt in terms of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.

For the three-year period 22 October 2006 to 21 October 2009:

1. How many offences involved alcohol?

2. How many violent offences involved alcohol?

Section 12(1) - Excessive cost of compliance (not answered)

3. How many offences involved Buckfast in any way?

In light of the above, we have undertaken a search of all crimes using a word search for 'Buckfast'. This reveals a total of 5,638 instances where the word is used, in some context, in the initial reported crime. To further ascertain what this involvement was would require us examining every relevant report. At an average of five minutes per report this would equate to some 470 hours and would again be cost exempt.

4. How many violent offences involved Buckfast in any way?

Examining the number of murders, attempt murders, serious assaults and common assaults recorded by the force over the relevant period shows a total of 448 reports where the word 'Buckfast' was recorded in some context.

5. Can you give an age and gender breakdown for these?

Of all such recorded offences (5,638), only 4,048 record an offender. Of these:

• 3,633 are male (90%) and 415 are female (10%).

• 583 persons were under 18.

Of the 448 violent offences as above:

• 204 involved a male offender (85%) and 36 involved a female offender (15%). Of the remaining 208 cases the gender was not determined.

6. Are there geographical hotspots for these offences? If so, what are they?

The force does not record crimes and collate them under the term 'hotspot' - accordingly, in terms of the Act this information is not held. However, where relevant or necessary spatial concentrations can be examined to ascertain where clusters of offences occur. Using this process these occur in Glasgow City Centre, the area surrounding Cumbernauld, Airdrie and Coatbridge, and the town of Ayr.

7. Are there any statistics which give an insight into links between Buckfast and gang activity?

Section 17 - Information not held (not answered)

8. How many under age drinkers were discovered/had alcohol confiscated?

Section 12(1) - Excessive cost of compliance (not answered)

9. Of those - how many were drinking Buckfast?

To be of assistance, with reference to question five - of the 4,048 recorded offenders there were 457 cases whereby a person under 18 years of age was found to be consuming Buckfast in a public place or had, as an offence under the Licensing (Scotland ) Act 1976 been sold Buckfast.

10. Can you give an age and gender breakdown for these?

Of the above 457 cases:

Aged 13 = 8 cases

Aged 14 = 21 cases

Aged 15 = 74 cases

Aged 16 = 127 cases

Aged 17 = 227 cases

Males - 388 (85%)

Females - (15%)

11. How many violent offences involved a bottle as a weapon?

Section 12(1) - Excessive cost of compliance (not answered)

12. How many violent offences involved a Buckfast bottle as a weapon?

Again, to be of assistance we have examined the above 448 crimes of violence mentioned in question 4, as a significantly smaller search field I can advise that 114 involved the use of a Buckfast bottle as a weapon.

The Buckfast Code is on BBC One Scotland at 1930 GMT on Monday 18 January

Print Sponsor

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