Wakefield Council promotes sensible drinking this summer

Date: 1/06/2016
Ref: PR 8243

With EURO 2016 starting next week, Wakefield Council is encouraging residents to enjoy the tournament safely.

Evidence suggests that alcohol consumption increases during large sporting events. Cases of domestic abuse and drink driving are also reported to increase.

During the last World Cup in 2014, the Police reported that calls about domestic abuse in West Yorkshire doubled on the first England match day. Domestic abuse incidents reported to Police in the Wakefield district alone are, on average, 32% higher on England match days when looking back at previous tournaments since 2010.

The Council is reminding residents of the dangers associated with drinking alcohol and how to drink more responsibly this summer.

Cllr Pat Garbutt, Cabinet member for Adults and Health, said: "Summer is a wonderful time for outdoor activities with family and friends. For many people, barbecues, beer gardens, sporting gatherings and visits to the park will include drinking alcohol.

"Drinking impairs both physical and mental abilities and it also decreases inhibitions which can lead to tragic consequences in the home, on the water, on the road, and in the great outdoors.

"Sporting events are a great opportunity for social interaction and if alcohol is to play a part in this then my advice would be to drink responsibly and enjoy it safely."

The Council offers practical health advice including, pacing yourself, avoid mixing drinks, staying hydrated by drinking lots of water and soft drinks and to keep count of the alcohol you are consuming.

For residents worried about their own, or someone else's drinking, the best place to start is by visiting their GP. NHS Choices also offer an online drinking self-assessment tool to see if drinking habits are within recommended levels at www.nhs.uk/alcohol

West Yorkshire Police are urging football fans to enjoy the upcoming tournament in the right spirit and also warned that inflamed passions and excess alcohol will be no excuse for domestic abuse ahead of England's first Euro 2016 game on 11 June.

Detective Superintendent Darren Minton, of West Yorkshire Police, said: "Our message is very clear; whatever the result is on match day, there's no excuse for domestic abuse, if you lose it during the football, you could lose everything - including your family and your job.

"If you or someone you know is a victim of any type of abuse do not hesitate to report any incident to us. We can and will support you and help stop this abuse. We take all reports of this nature very seriously and our officers are specially trained to deal with these issues sensitively, putting your needs first.

"To victims of domestic abuse I would say, any time, 365 days of the year if it's ongoing, ring 999. If you want to report it any other time you can ring 101 and a call operator will handle your call as sensitively as possible."

For more information about responsible drinking visit www.drinkaware.co.uk

For more information about support Wakefield District Domestic Abuse Service visit  www.wakefield.gov.uk/domesticabuse