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Alcohol-related admissions linked to off-licences

5th September 2011

A study by Alcohol Concern has found that the number of off-licences in an area is statistically reflected in the amount of underage people admitted to hospital for problems relating to alcohol.

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The researchers looked at England from 2006-2009 but did not include London. They found that for every two stores per 100,000 of the population which sold alcohol, one person aged under 18 looked for hospital treatment.

The report advised that the government should think about imposing controls on the number of off-licences.

It also argues that local authorities should be given the authority under the Licensing Act to veto application due to concerns about local health issues. 

The report said: "Effective harm prevention therefore not only requires targeting education, information and support at an individual level among young people but control of the concentration of alcohol outlets at a community level." 

The information is based on data gathered from 214 of the 293 local authorities in England.

Alcohol Concern said the report's discoveries were "sufficiently robust to draw strong conclusions". 

The report suggested that almost 10% of the 19,367 alcohol-related hospital admissions for people aged under-18 were because of a large number of off-licences in a particular area.

Alcohol Concern chief executive Don Shenker said: "It is a sobering thought that the numbers of off-licences in any one area has an impact on under-18s drinking and ending up in hospital.

"It is a failing of the current system that so many licences are being granted without due consideration to young people's health." 

 

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