New scheme to help society’s most treatment-resistant drinkers and offenders

Street drinking
Street drinking
  • Aim is to reduce anti-social behaviour on our streets

An innovative new project has been launched by Lincolnshire County Council and Lincolnshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner to help keep town centres across Lincolnshire safe.

Dubbed the ‘Blue Light project’, it aims to help society’s most treatment-resistant drinkers and offenders in towns across Lincolnshire.

Why they are drinking? Maybe it is because they are homeless, have no job or no money, problems with their family, or just feel they have no future

Superintendent Mark Housley

To be delivered by Nacro and Alcohol Concern, the programme will introduce two specialist outreach workers to help these drinkers, as well as a training package to be delivered to people and organisations who come into contact with them, including street pastors, family workers, supported housing and children’s services.

Police and Crime Commissioner for Lincolnshire, Alan Hardwick, said:“We need to keep our residents safe. This project will go a long way in helping to tackle the issues and root causes which trigger these excessive levels of drinking which in turn, causes anti-social behaviour in our communities.”

Superintendent Mark Housley, Public Protection Officer at Lincolnshire County Council, added:“This is just one example, but in the past two weeks, Faye (false name) (35) has got into two fights with neighbours and caused criminal damage whilst under the influence of alcohol. Police have attended these three separate incidents and know there will be others in the future related to Faye.

“Previously Faye has been in and out of treatment but has not been able to sustain regular and meaningful engagement. We need to do something to get to the root cause of her drinking.”

Mark Holmes from Alcohol Concern, who delivers part of the programme, said:“We’ve been working with Lincolnshire Police to identify those people who are regularly drunk and cause the most frequent alcohol-related incidents. We then have assigned two specialist workers to help these people get their lives back on track by coordinating support – so bringing together housing, social care, employment and benefits, thereby addressing their issues and therefore putting them in a better and more willing place to deal with their alcohol dependency.”

As well as these specialist workers, training is currently being rolled out to over 200 people across the county, all of which have regular contact with these treatment-resistant drinkers.

Supt Housley added: “It aims to encourage people to think about these drinkers differently. Instead of just putting them forward for a treatment service, we need to think about the cause of their alcoholism – why they are drinking? Maybe it is because they are homeless, have no job or no money, problems with their family, or just feel they have no future.

“We need to work out what we can do to solve their issues and get them back on the right track, which we ultimately hope will reduce the amount of anti-social behaviour on our streets.”