Devon and Cornwall alcohol-related crime 'cost £366m'

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More than £366m of public money has been spent on dealing with alcohol-related crimes across Devon and Cornwall, a report has suggested.

It includes the cost of dealing with criminal damage, anti-social behaviour, violence and problem alcohol users, between March 2011 and March 2012.

Devon and Cornwall Police and partner agencies calculated the sum, published in the Peninsula Strategic Assessment.

A spokeswoman from the force said it was "a very conservative estimate".

She added that the figure was likely to be higher because of the underreporting of some crimes.

Force breakdown

  • Cornwall and Isles of Scilly £117.1m
  • Devon (including Torbay) £167.9m
  • Plymouth £81m

Services that spent money dealing with alcohol-related crime include the police, the criminal justice system, drug and alcohol action teams and the National Health Service.

'Balance to set'

Devon and Cornwall's Police and Crime Commissioner Tony Hogg held a conference in Plymouth to discuss the problem.

He said he thought it was down to "leaders in society" to set up a framework where alcohol is dealt with more responsibly.

"There is a small percentage of society who are causing immense harm through overindulgence in alcohol," he said.

"We've got a balance to set between the role of the pub in our society and the role of supermarkets and the role of parents, and such like.

"There are many responsible publicans and we need for them to be professional in what they do, to contain the issues in their pub and not just eject people.

"We need supermarkets to recognise the danger of multi-buys, the cheap alcohol, the desire of young people to stoke up before they go out for a night, and we desperately need parents to take a more responsible view on drinking, especially in the very young when the damage can really start."

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