A day of action to curb rising alcohol-abuse problems in Wisbech is being held in the town next week.
The event to raise awareness of the dangers of excessive drinking comes as worrying new police figures have revealed there were 250 more alcohol-related incidents in Wisbech in the first six months of the year than the rest of Fenland combined.
In a report to Fenland District Council’s licensing committee last Monday – when a Wisbech supermarket’s application for an alcohol licence was refused – licensing officer PC Phil Richardson revealed that there were 556 incidents in Wisbech from January 2016 to July – 253 more than in the other Fenland towns combined.
His statistics showed that there were 176 incidents in March, 90 in Whittlesey and 37 in Chatteris – with all four towns showing an increase in incidents from the same period in 2015.
The day of action is now being held in Wisbech on Wednesday, November 30, as a follow-up to Alcohol Awareness Week, which was held from November 14 to 20.
Campaigners will be out and about in the town centre to promote their key messages, and they will also be visiting local supermarkets and the College of West Anglia.
The event is a joint initiative by the Cambridgeshire Drug and Alcohol Action Team (DAAT), the Cambridgeshire Adolescent Substance Misuse Service (CASUS) and all the partners supporting the Wisbech Alcohol Project.
Cllr Mike Cornwell, Fenland District Council’s Cabinet member responsible for health and wellbeing, said: “We know that alcohol abuse has a big impact on people’s health as well as being a major factor in a lot of crime and antisocial behaviour.
“We also recognise that excessive drinking is a problem here, particularly in Wisbech, and making people more aware of the risks involved is key to tackling it.”
Official health guidelines stipulate that no one should regularly drink more than 14 units of alcohol a week.
An average standard glass of wine (175ml) and a regular pint of beer each constitutes 2.3 units. People should also spread their drinking evenly across the week and have regular alcohol-free days.