News Date: Friday 22nd February 2008
Tim alarmed by 41% increase in under-age drinkers admitted to hospital
East Worthing and Shoreham MP Tim Loughton has expressed his alarm at new figures which have revealed a 41% increase in under-age drinkers are being admitted to hospital in the local area.
In 2000/1 423 under 18 year olds from Kent, Surrey and Sussex were admitted to hospital for treatment after alcohol and by 2006/7 this had risen by 41% to 596 under 18 year olds. The situation is not improved by the fact that last year, in Sussex, none of these teenagers were taken to court for purchasing alcohol illegally and only 3 of them were issues a penalty notice for their actions. Indeed, nationally fewer than a hundred individuals a year are punished for trying to buy alcohol illegally.
This disturbing news coincides with the report from Crime Concern which has found that "drinking to get drunk is starting younger with serious consequences to health and crime". Almost four in ten young people now start drinking at the age of 13.
"Under-age drinking harms young people and fuels youth crime and anti-social behaviour. Labour Ministers talk endlessly about cracking down on alcohol-related violence, but these new figures expose the Government's complacency.
"There are already laws and sanctions in place. The Government's failure to enforce the law sends totally the wrong message about under-age drinking and is adding to public concern about yob behaviour and crime. We also need greater social responsibility, and an end to some parents turning a blind eye to their children's drinking. Increasing social responsibility is at the heart of David Cameron's plans to make Britain safer and stonger."
Notes to Editors
CRIME CONCERN REPORT ON UNDER-AGE BINGE DRINKING
A report published by Crime Concern revealed the extent of under-age binge drinking.
The survey of 10-19 years olds found that 42 per cent began drinking when they were 13 or under, and 29 per cent said they drink to get drunk. Half of the young people surveyed had been involved in fighting, violence and aggression as a result of drinking. In addition, 50 per cent of parents were reported to condone or not care about their children's drinking.
Crime Concern, Binge drinking: young people's attitudes and behaviour, 23 January 2008.
SOARING NUMBER OF UNDER-AGE DRINKERS IN A&E
New answers to Parliamentary Questions have revealed a worrying rise in the number of under-age people admitted to hospital due to their drinking.
The number of under-18s hospitalised for alcohol misuse has increased by nearly 40 per cent since 2000. Last year, 8,245 under-18s were admitted to hospital via A&E for alcohol misuse.
Hansard, 8 January 2008, col. 461W.http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200708/cmhansrd/cm080108/text/80108w0024.htm#column_461Whttp://www.parliament.uk/deposits/depositedpapers/2008/DEP2008-0046.doc