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Link between crime and alcohol

26 August 2004

Link between crime and alcohol

Comprehensive local data showing the link between alcohol and crime should be available next year and will be a valuable tool to lower the crime rate, says the Alcohol Advisory Council (ALAC) Chief Executive Officer Dr Mike MacAvoy.

Commenting following the release by police of the latest crime statistics, Dr MacAvoy said internationally figures show 50 to 70 percent of all crime is alcohol-related and there is no reason to think the situation is any different within New Zealand.

And a recent survey of police charge sheets in Wellington indicated that 90 percent of violent offenders were affected by alcohol.

“The police's enhanced alcohol intelligence project, something ALAC has been championing, should produce its first results next year. The project enables information to be recorded across the country identifying whether alcohol was involved in a particular crime and will offer for the first time, a clear insight into the association of alcohol with offending.”

ALAC believed a strong consistent approach to enforcement of the Sale of Liquor Act and prosecution for breaches of the Act, along with harsh penalties, combined with a change in attitude on how New Zealanders view excessive alcohol consumption, would help to reduce alcohol-related harm for all New Zealanders, he said.

ENDS

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