How alcohol affects your community

THE Scottish Borders Alcohol Profile was compiled over 12 months by Susan Walker, of the Alcohol and Drugs Partnership, and Erin Murray of Scottish Borders Council.

As well as looking at the impact on frontline services, it shows how many people from each town and village in the region are involved in incidents which either find them taken to hospital or result in them being spoken to by a police officer.

Ms Walker said: “It is a first for the Borders and the Scottish Government and Alcohol Focus Scotland are hoping to share the good practice that we have identified, as well as some of the challenges we have come up against.

“To get the accident and emergency data was a first for Scotland. The results were only over five months because it is a new system, but as we go forward we will have a much better idea of the patterns of the emergency department and the challenges that they face.

“We present the report to the Licensing Board on Friday and hope they find it useful. We will repeat the exercise next year.”

One of the main issues identified in the report was the use of pre-loading – buying cheap drink in an off-licence before going out to a pub or nightclub – by people to get drunk.

Inspector John Scott told us: “The licensing trade generally works really well with the police to control alcohol.

“The issue they have is that a lot of 18 to 30-year-olds are not coming out until 10pm and have pre-loaded on a lot of alcohol, often full of caffeine.

“This means that a lot of the nightclubs are having to deal with people who are a challenge the moment they walk into the premises and if entry is refused because 
they are too drunk, we then can 
see the police having to get