Shropshire successful in national alcohol action programme
Shropshire has been successful in a Government programme to help combat alcohol- related crime and disorder.
The county was one of 33 areas given the go ahead to take part in the Local Alcohol Action Areas (LAAA), an initiative led by central government to help prevent alcohol-related crime and reduce alcohol-related health harms. The scheme also aims to help and generate economic growth by creating a vibrant and diverse night time economy.
Shropshire Drug and Alcohol Action Team (DAAT), along with local partners,
submitted a bid under the ‘preventing alcohol-related crime and disorder’ stream of the countrywide initiative. Partners include:
- Shropshire Clinical Commissioning Group
- Shropshire Councils Trading Standards & Licensing, Regulatory Services
- West Mercia Police
- Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital Trust (SaTH)
The bid made by the organisations, which together form Shropshire’s Community Safety Partnership, has been fully supported by the local Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC).
There is a long and established history in the county for good partnership working across the public sector; specifically there are strong working links between the council and the Clinical Commissioning Group.
Also for many years SaTH has being collecting data on behalf of the local Community Safety Partnership on alcohol-related assaults to support work to tackle violence within the night-time economy. Whilst this has been very valuable, the partnership feel that being part of the LAAA will strengthen and improve how we use this data to improve community safety.
The two-year LAAA programme will focus on improving the collection, sharing and use of data between A&E departments, local authorities and the police, and will be supported in developing and implementing their plans by Specialist Support Managers.
They will receive support and expertise in crime prevention, licensing and public health from the Home Office, Public Health England, the Welsh Government and Nightworks, a company that specialises in diversifying the night-time economy.
Karen Calder, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for health and well-being, and Chair of Shropshire’s Health and Well-Being Board, said:-
“In Shropshire we and our partners are committed to ensuring we work together to tackle alcohol-related crime and disorder and reducing alcohol-related health harms.
“I am delighted that we have been chosen to be part of the Local Alcohol Action Area Programme. This initiative will provide us with an excellent opportunity to further develop effective and productive joint working across the whole partnership at both a working and strategic level.”
To find out more about the work of DAAT, click here or visit www.healthyshropshire.co.uk.
Shropshire’s LAAA programme
A number of departments and partner agencies collect a range of data to support strategy development and service planning, for instance recorded alcohol-related crime figures, anti-social behaviour figures and assault data.
Whilst useful for those organisations and departments, there are issues with the quality of data, the interface between organisations and departments and in some cases the actually sharing of information. It is felt the information gathered could be better utilised if all stakeholders were sharing relevant information and it was used collectively to support the overall strategic direction of Shropshire.
Key challenges that Shropshire would want to address through involvement in the Local Alcohol Action Area Programme include:
- Forging more effective engagement and partnership working relations with Shropshire hospitals. Presentations and admissions data collected at hospitals plays a central role in the development of services to meet needs.
- Review and development of information sharing agreements across the partnership.
- Ensuring a systematic approach to the collection of complete, robust and consistent information at source.
- Work with Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust to develop a systematic process for recording data on alcohol-related harm.
- Ensure the ASB (Anti-Social Behaviour) single reporting line is fit for purpose.
- Resolving issues relating to data coding in order to ensure that information on incidents can be collated and effectively shared between partners in order to inform strategy service planning and operational practice to prevent and deter crime and disorder.
- Ensuring that the needs of effective data collection and sharing are represented within the local authority digital transformation programme.
- Utilise data collected to develop a meaningful public health response to incoming licencing applications to support the DPH in their role as a Responsible Authority
The Local Alcohol Action Areas Programme
The purpose of the local alcohol action areas programme was to strengthen partnerships and enable them to take the right action for their community. The programme supported 20 areas across England and Wales to deliver against one or more of three aims: to reduce alcohol-related crime and disorder; to reduce the health harms caused by alcohol; and to promote economic growth by diversifying the night-time economy. Areas were free to choose to work towards one or more aim and were responsible for devising their own action plans to deliver against the aims they had selected.
The programme ran between February 2014 and March 2015 and provided intensive short-term support to the selected areas. It offered areas opportunities to share learning with others and access expert advice to identify the most effective means of addressing alcohol-related harms. It also enabled areas to strengthen partnership working, including with health, crime, licensing, industry and other partners.
The short time frame, the diversity and the variety of the local initiatives that formed the basis of the programme meant that formal evaluation was not possible. However, the feedback from the areas was overwhelmingly positive. This report provides a summary and example case studies of some of the activity undertaken. It provides examples of promising practice and the foundations for other local areas to build future action on.
Up to 40 places were available for the second phase of the programme, which will build on the success of the first phase and will last for two years. Participating areas will be required to tackle one or more of a core set of challenges focused on preventing crime and disorder in the night time economy:
- How can local areas improve the collection, sharing and use of data between A&E Departments, local authorities and the police?
- How can local authorities, the police and businesses ensure the safe movement of people in the night time economy?
- How can local areas expand their use of safe spaces?
- How can local authorities, the police and business work together to help prevent the sale of alcohol to drunks in both the off- and on-trades?
- How can local authorities, the police and business work together to help design out crime?