Police not NHS should deal with drunks
The Police rather than the NHS should be dealling with drunks claims the AnE boss.
Dr Clifford Mann, president of the College of Emergency Medicine, said the “softer approach” used for anti-social drunkenness did not seem to be working. Police could instead increase arrests, convictions and fines, he suggested.
Crime prevention minister Lynne Featherstone said the government was “determined to tackle alcohol-fuelled harm”, which she said cost society around £21 billion a year.
The coalition had improved the powers available to the police and licensing authorities to tackle alcohol-related crime, and had banned the “worst cases of very cheap and harmful alcohol sales”, the Liberal Democrat MP said.
Dr Mann said: “All I am saying at the moment is the softer approach – where we don’t any longer arrest many people for being drunk and disorderly – certainly doesn’t seem to be working.”
He said the number of people arriving at A&E units while drunk was increasing year on year, while the number of licensed premises in the UK was also increasing and alcohol was getting cheaper.
“I think these people, by the nature of the disorder, they are distracting medical and nursing staff from looking after other patients and therefore are wasting public resources,” he said.
“I think they therefore fall into the category of being drunk and disorderly in their behaviour and the police can act to take them away.”
Health Direct agrees with the suggestion. To use the Greens’ parlance of “the polluter should pay”- the drunks should be charged- literally and financially. Until the politicians, police and society in general starts to deal appropriately of issue of people drinking too much alcohol then it is unfair and detrimental to the expect the NHS to pick up the pieces.
Not only would this approach save the NHS money- but the police and courts would make money by fining people who have paid to incapacitate themselves- and who are after all breaking the law.