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The Licensing Act 2003 Statement Of Licensing Policy January 2021

The Impact of Alcohol on Stockton-on-Tees

The Council maintains its commitment to encourage and promote entertainment, live music, dance and theatre that provides wider cultural benefits to the community, and also promotes a vibrant night time economy. However, this needs to be considered alongside the negative impact alcohol use can have.

The Crime Survey for England and Wales carried out by the Office for National Statistics in 2014 identified that 53% of all violent incidents were alcohol related. Within the Borough, there is a rate of 3.53 alcohol related violent crimes per 1,000 people, per year, which although better than the national figure, is higher than the regional rate of 2.84 per year.

The same survey also showed that 36% of domestic violence incidents were alcohol related, and of violent incidents reported between 10.00pm and 6.00am, over 80% involved alcohol.

In addition the Public Perceptions Survey carried out by Balance in 2014 highlighted that 74% of Stockton residents said that the drunken behaviour of other people put them off going for a night out in the town centre.

In terms of alcohol related harms, within Stockton-on-Tees in 2013/14 there were 2,560 people per 100,000 population admitted to hospital with alcohol- related conditions, compared to only 2,031 per 100,000 people across England as whole. This is a figure that is increasing annually.

Within the Borough, this rate of hospital related alcohol admissions varies greatly, with some areas as high as 7,636 per 100,000 population. The areas with the highest rates are generally located within the Town Centre Ward.

Stockton is ranked 15th nationally for the level of binge drinking that its population reports. A recent survey identified that Stockton-on-Tees residents are more likely to drink heavily when they do drink compared to the North East average, with 26% of people admitting to drinking 10 or more standard drinks when they did have a drink.

Alongside binge drinking, there are 26,440 individuals within Stockton who are estimated to be drinking at increasing risk levels (22-50 units per week for males, 15-35 units per week for females) and 8,723 drinking at high risk levels (greater than 50 units per week for males and 35 units for females).

Although other measures of alcohol harm, such as alcohol related mortality or months of life lost due to alcohol are similar to the results seen across England, it does not mean further improvements within the Borough should not be made.

It is estimated that alcohol costs approximately £71.13 million per year in the Stockton Borough; this includes costs associated with the NHS, crime and licensing, the workplace and Social Services.

Given the range of issues that alcohol contributes to, key public health messages are highlighted within this policy to align the four licensing objectives and the strategic goals outlined within the Council's Health and Wellbeing strategy to improve and protect the health of the population and reduce inequalities.

Any representation from Public Health will include details as to the profile of alcohol related harm for the locality that the premises is located in (presented to the smallest available geography, which for some measures would be Borough wide) and whether, based on the levels of harm identified, the application has proposed sufficient controls to promote the four licensing objectives.