Binge drinkers in Brent cost emergency services £224k last year

Binge drinking in Brent cost the emergency services �224,000 last year (Pic credit: PA)

Binge drinking in Brent cost the emergency services �224,000 last year (Pic credit: PA) - Credit: PA Wire/Press Association Images

Binge drinkers in Brent cost emergency responses services more than £200,000 last year, new figures reveal.

The London Ambulance Service (LAS) has spent £224,000 responding to and treating inebriated individuals in the borough between 2012 and 2013, according to data obtained following a Freedom of Information request by Conservatives on the the Greater London Authority (GLA). This makes it the 13th worst borough in terms of binge drinking callouts in London.

A total of £16million of LAS cash has been spent across London on dealing with drunks.

There have been calls for the introduction of ‘booze buses’, manned by nurses, and sobering centres to operate in the capital’s binge-drinking hotspots all year round, with In a new report entitled, On the Wagon, the GLA Tories offer these proposals in a bid relieve pressure on clogged up emergency rooms and prisons.

Victoria Borwick, GLA Conservative London Assembly Member said: “Many people like a tipple but our public services should not be catering for bingers who can’t handle their drink.

“Our ambulances, prison cells and A&Es are designed for medical emergencies or dangerous criminals, yet we are seeing London’s drunks hogging these services, costing the capital millions. We need to deal with drunks in a more appropriate way.”

The dossier also calls for Parliament to double fines for drunkeness to £180 and target those who repeatedly abuse public services.

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With eight per cent of Brent’s over-16 population engaging in binge drinking, fines could help encourage better drinking behaviour while the sobering services could provide better long-term sobering treatment, according to the Conservative group.

Ms Borwick added: “The cash raised could fund targeted support and guidance for repeat offenders.”