Tuesday 21 December 2010

That Binge-Drinking 'Epidemic'

A bit of an exclusive, this.

Small voices in a hurricane of alarmism we may have been, but myself and VGIF have been pointing out the undeniable fact that Britain's drinking levels have been declining for quite a while now.

For a long time, Britain's falling alcohol consumption has been a well-kept secret. It doesn't fit the narrative of boozy Britain and doesn't support the neo-prohibitionist's scare-mongering.
Indeed. This was also the first of the Devil's now legendary 'Five myths about alcohol'.

Such inconvenient truth is solidly backed up by official sources too, as confirmed by the last published statistics from the ONS.

Following an increase between 1998 and 2000, there has been a decline since 2002 in the proportion of men drinking more than 21 units a week, on average, and in the proportion of women drinking more than 14 units.
Yet still we see emotive pictures from the more, ahem, excitable of our mainstream press.

So, although consumption is most definitely decreasing, the behaviour of those out on the razzle must be appalling. After all, there wouldn't be the great call for minimum alcohol pricing to stop all those youths 'pre-loading' otherwise, right?

To find out, it's best to ask the experts. And this is where the Freedom of Information Act can be so very useful. For example, if you asked a large police force - the Metropolitan Police is a good one - how many people have been arrested for 'drunk and disorderly' since 2001, what do you think the response would be?

Well, as it happens, someone has done exactly that. As expected, it looks bad ...

... for those who believe our government, their state-funded quangoes, and the quite absurdly gullible mainstream media, that is (yes, even Ed West).

For the record, here are the exact totals.

2001 - 12138
2002 - 11915
2003 - 11069
2004 - 9688
2005 - 6541
2006 - 5718
2007 - 5142
2008 - 5149
2009 - 5232
2010 - 4516
It must be noted (since lies don't appear here) that the last figure only encompasses 11 months, but extrapolation would still suggest that 2010 is on course for producing the lowest London D&D arrest rate of the decade.

I'm guessing that the trend is probably a nationwide thing. Why not try asking your nearest police force the same question?

Now then. Ever felt utterly and comprehensively lied to?

UPDATE: More detail on page three (click the zoom icon).

Reduction in drunk arrests


Smoking Hot said...

Factual stats? ... l thought they'd become extinct! Kudos DP

Dick the Prick said...

Ah, a bit of a cautionary caveat; I used to do crime stats for the Rozzers and it's relatively utter bollox. Attempted burglary = criminal damage, drunk & disorderly = section 105 public order offence, robbery = abh etc. They're not really worth the paper they're written on but...

Snowolf said...

I hereby predict that I will the lottery and be crowned Miss World before these stats appear in the MSM.

If I am proved wrong, I will change my blog name to Susan the Epileptic Octopus for a twelve month.*

*Bear in mind that is an election or manifesto pledge.

Dick Puddlecote said...

I've got the breakdown of outcomes too, Dick, will try to find a way of adding them.

Curmudgeon said...

You do have to take those arrest stats with a pinch of salt, as arrests for drunk & disorderly will by definition to a large extent reflect the amount of police effort put into combating it. Compare this with burglary where it is possible to obtain a figure for the number of offences committed independent of the number of arrests.

It is well-attested that the police seem increasingly reluctant to involve themselves in situations with members of the public who may be troublesome, preferring easy targets.

Mark Wadsworth said...

Dp, yes of course, but you are walking a fine line here.

I wouldn't put it past the bansturbators do now turn on a dime and claim that "Our measures are working! Let's have more of this and get the drinking stat's down even further!"

Dick Puddlecote said...

PC: Quite possibly. But if so, perhaps the emphasis on solving the 'problem' should be directed at the police and not those who enjoy alcohol.

So far, we see a reduction in consumption, a reduction in arrests, yet a hysterical demand for something to be done to punish those who cause no trouble whatsoever.

Dick Puddlecote said...

MW: Yes, there is that. Rent requires seeking, of course.

There really is no need for such hyperbolic alarmism in driving down rates, though. In fact, the more shrill the chorus, the more arrests seem to have stopped declining and levelled off, it seems to me.

Exactly the same as in the smoking prevalence debate when ridiculous bans are implemented.

subrosa said...

In answer to your question - every day. Damn it.

Off topic. I see Spain's introducing a total smoking ban now. That's another holiday destination off the list.

Anonymous said...

Are brewer profits down then?
And drink driving charges down as well.

Carl Minns said...

Nice one Mr P. I feel an e mail to Humberside Police coming on.....