Provincial press releases

Joint campaign calls time on binge drinking

 

 

Alcohol Pledge Wales Campaign

 

SIGN UP AT www.alcoholpledge.co.uk

 

News Release

Launch: November 20, 11am

The most senior churchmen and police officers in Wales are joining forces in a campaign to tackle the culture of binge drinking by spreading the message that “Enough is Enough”.

The Archbishop of Wales with the six other Welsh Bishops and the four Chief Constables of Wales will lead the campaign which will be supported by a wide range of other organisations and will encompass the whole nation – from out-of-control revellers in city centres on a Saturday night to people regularly cracking open too many bottles of wine at home on weekday evenings.

As part of the campaign, people concerned about how much they drink will be invited to take a “Pledge” to cut down the amount they drink and to stop before they have had too much. They will be able to sign up to the Pledge online and carry a card to remind them of their commitment and give them support against peer pressure.

Posters and leaflets will also be circulated to remind people of the damaging effects and huge cost binge drinking has on themselves, their families and friends and society as a whole.

The campaign supports the Welsh Assembly Government’s Substance Misuse Strategy and is also backed by Cardiff University Students’ Union and the Licensees Forum. It will be launched at Cardiff Students’ Union on November 20. The speakers will include:

• The Archbishop of Wales, Dr Barry Morgan
• Chief Constable of South Wales Police, Barbara Wilding
• Mr Mike McCabe, Consultant A&E Swansea
• Nick Newman, chairman of Cardiff Licensees Forum
• Andy Button-Stephens, President of Cardiff University Students’ Union
• Wynford Ellis Owen, chief executive of the Welsh Council on Alcohol and Other Drugs

The audience will include key representatives from interested bodies such as education, health, local authorities, media, supermarket chains and voluntary groups. They will be invited to suggest ways in which their organisation can help the campaign and take it forward. The website, www.alcoholpledge.co.uk where people can sign the Pledge to stop binge drinking and find advice on safe drinking, will be launched during the event.

Dr Barry Morgan emphasised that the challenge of today’s Pledge was not to give up alcohol altogether but to give up binge drinking.

“Alcohol isn’t the problem – it is our attitude to it that counts. Drinking can be an enjoyable part of our social life but not when we abuse it – harming ourselves and others. The challenge is to change our own thinking and the prevailing culture and attitude in Wales which equates a good night out, or even a good night in, with drinking to excess.

“This is what needs challenging and this is why we are saying Enough is Enough.”
 
Chief Constable Barbara Wilding, chair of the Welsh Association of Chief Police Officers, added:

“The aftermath of binge drinking can be clearly seen during the early hours of any Saturday and Sunday morning in A&E waiting rooms across the country, but perhaps more worrying is the fact that in the run up to Christmas and the New Year these waiting rooms will get even busier.

“When people drink to excess they are far more likely to be involved in an accident, or assault, commit a criminal offence, or make themselves sexually vulnerable.

“Something quite clearly needs to be done to change the ‘culture’ that exists in Wales where drinking to excess is widely accepted.

“Cultural change is obviously not going to be something that can be achieved if we continue to work in isolation, but it is hoped that by awareness-raising through the Enough is Enough campaign, and by taking a stand together – eventually our messages will be heard, and we will begin to see stronger, safer, communities in Wales.”

Reporters and photographers are welcome to attend the campaign launch at Cardiff Students’ Union at 11am. A press conference will be held at the bar afterwards at 12.30pm when the main speakers will give interviews. To book a place or request other interviews, please contact:

Anna Morrell
Archbishop’s Media Officer / Swyddog y Cyfryngau i’r Archesgob
Tel: 02920 348208; mobile: 07 91 91 587 94
39 Cathedral Rd, Cardiff / 39 Heol y Gadeirlan, Caerdydd
CF11 9XF
http://www.churchinwales.org.uk

OR

Coral Pickstock – Marketing Officer
South Wales Police
Media and Marketing Department.
Tel: 01656 869291
Ext: 20799
Email: coral.pickstock@south-wales.pnn.police.uk

 NOTES

• Wales has the highest level of teenage drinking in Europe, according to a study by the University of Edinburgh in partnership with the World Health Organisation, published in June. 2008. Half of 15-year-old girls and 60% of boys drink on a weekly basis.
• A fifth of the Welsh adult population admits to binge drinking
• Nearly half of domestic abuse cases are linked to alcohol
• 40% of adults in Wales drink above safety level guidelines
• Alcohol related disease and incidents cost the health service in Wales between £70m – £85 each year

The Bishops of the Church in Wales are:
The Archbishop of Wales and Bishop of Llandaff, the Most Rev Dr Barry Morgan;
The Bishop of St Asaph, the Rt Rev John Davies;
The Bishop of Monmouth, the Rt Rev Dominic Walker, OSG;
The Bishop of Swansea and Brecon, the Rt Rev John Davies;
The Bishop of St Davids, the Rt Rev Wyn Evans;
The Bishop of Bangor, the Rt Rev Andy John.
The Assistant Bishop of Llandaff, the Rt Rev David Yeoman

The Chief Constables of Wales are:

Miss Barbara Wilding – South Wales Police
Mr Richard Brunstrom – North Wales Police
Mr Ian Arundale – Dyfed Powys Police
Mr Mick Giannasi – Gwent Police.