A new study has proven that imposing a minimum unit price for alcohol does in fact lead to a dramatic fall in drink-related crime including murders, sexual assaults and drink-driving.
The evidence comes from the Canadian province of British Columbia where the price of alcohol has been increased by 10% over the last nine years. In this time, crimes carried out against people, including violent assaults has fallen by 9.17%. Motoring offences linked to alcohol, such as killing or injuring someone and refusing to take a breath test also fell by an impressive 18.8%.
Previous studies have also showed that introducing a minimum unit price also cuts alcohol-related hospital admissions, saves lives and reduces overall consumption. Professor Tim Stockwell who led the study commented:
“Strong associations were observed between the values of minimum alcohol prices and both alcohol-related traffic violations and crimes against persons. It appears that minimum pricing is a powerful tool for reducing alcohol-related harm at the individual and societal level.”
The campaign group, Alcohol Health Alliance has said that they hope that the findings of the study will encourage ministers in the UK to introduce the same policy. With Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales set to introduce minimum pricing in the near future, many are calling for Westminster to do the same thing in a bid to protect the health and wellbeing of those living in the UK.
The Director of the Institute of Alcohol Studies, Katherine Brown, further emphasised the importance of doing this:
“With a million alcohol-related crimes costing the economy £11 billion every year, the government can’t afford to ignore evidence for a policy that could reduce crime by 9%.”
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