“A snap decision in the heat of the moment can have far reaching consequences” - that’s the message an alcohol awareness campaign wants to get across.
The alcohol awareness campaign launched by Lancashire Constabulary in partnership with Lancashire Trading Standards, coincides with the national Alcohol Awareness week which runs from November 18 to 24 and has a number of different aims.
Sgt Dave Forshaw, the licensing and alcohol harm reduction sergeant based at Lancaster, said: “It is about preventative work and addressing things before they occur by getting ahead of the game.
“The idea of the campaign is to raise awareness of responsible drinking.
“When people receive a caution, they will receive a conditional caution and are asked to attend a workshop with a presentation by Every Action Has Consequences.
“The Every Action Has Consequences campaign was set up by Pat Rogers in 2009 after her son Adam, 24, died in a street fight.
“The campaign educates youngsters in schools, colleges, prisons and youth clubs.
“We get the people to the police station and go through the presentation with them.
“They are encouraged to talk about the different issues involved.
“The majority of people involved don’t set out to commit violence, often times its just a trigger which ends up in a fight.
“The presentation focuses on the consequences of their actions and that a snap decision in the heat of the moment can have far reaching consequences for the victims of the assault and families on both sides.
“It can be a relatively low level thing, maybe drunk and disorderly or a minor assault but the point is to make them think next time that they are in that situation.
“It’s about the consequences of drinking to excess and being aware of the situations that can lead to an offence.”
So far 25 people have attended the course and it has already been very well received.
As well as tackling drink related violence, officers have been training licensees and door staff.
Sgt Dave Forshaw said: “We got licensees and door staff from Morecambe, Lancaster and Fleetwood to attend a training course tackling substance abuse and to update people on the things to look out for including the physical signs of drug taking and the clues of drug taking left behind.
“There are going to be drugs used in licensed establishments but there are ways to make this environment safer.
“It will make it easier for people to pick out an individual with a drugs problem, or problems on the premises.
“The more information police can get, the more action they can take.
Lancashire Constabulary partners in the campaign are Lancashire Trading Standards who have been targeting alcohol licensed establishments in Lancaster, Morecambe and Wyre.
Sgt Dave Forshaw said: “There has been a poster campaign targeting proxy sales of alcohol, which is buying alcohol for kids and giving them the alcohol.
“Schools have been written to and hundreds of leaflets have been handed out to secondary schools in the area with information for parents.
“People have a skinful until 3am or 4am and then drive to work or somewhere else and they may still be over the limit.
“At some of the lates venues in Lancaster we have been using a hand stamp which says “Are you still over the limit?” which can be seen on your hand the day after.
“It’s a visible reminder the day after and its also a cheap idea.
“It may well have some effect on a person’s actions the morning after.”
The alcohol awareness campaign supports the Christmas drink drive campaign and the morning after drink drive campaign.