A police chief has given a stark warning to alcohol abusers in Dumfries and Galloway that their increasingly destructive behaviour will no longer be tolerated.
Chief Inspector David McCallum said this week that a worrying increase in alcohol related crime has prompted the force to take action to try and change the area’s hard drinking culture.
These crimes include a worrying rise in alcolhol-fuelled domestic violence, with women the main victims, and an increase in assaults on paramedics and nurses.
In Galloway alone, recent statistics show that alcohol related serious assaults are up 22 per cent and, more worryingly, domestic serious assault has risen by a whopping 400 per cent, with 53 per cent of those offences taking place indoors. Common assault figures have risen from 806 to 2002, a 23 per cent increase in a seven month period.
Police are also trying to make publicans act more responsibly as 21 per cent of serous assaults happen in licensed premises.
Inspector McCallum said: “This has got to stop. People are using alcohol as an excuse for offending, we are saying that is not acceptable.
“The number of alcohol related injuries has also increased. There have been 102 assaults recorded on emergency workers, including paramedics, nurses and doctors. That is a disgraceful number of assaults on people just doing their job.
“We are also seeing more alcohol abuse in the home, with people ‘front loading’ before they go out. The licensing trade must step up to the mark here and say no to serving drunks.
“It’s also about the victims, as 148 of the population of Dumfries and Galloway became victims of violence last year, including many women. Alcohol is clearly a significant factor in many of these assaults.
People must now focus on their own behaviour.”