Today (Monday) marks the launch of a new campaign in Glasgow to reduce alcohol-related violence and harm and promote safer, healthier socialising in the city centre.
Play Safe in Glasgow - led by the City Centre Alcohol Action Group and aimed at both Glaswegians and visitors to the city - will involve the launch of an informative website www.playsafeinglasgow.com. It will also include the circulation of photo posters and postcards with messages in pubs and clubs, and will see some city buses and billboards sporting advertising banners over Christmas and New Year.
Willie Caie, Chairperson of the City Centre Alcohol Action Group and Project Manager for Glasgow Safer City Centre Initiative, said: "The three areas we're concentrating the campaign on are: safer socialising, health messages around drinking and how to get home safely.
"With the festive season upon us, more people are out and about drinking in the city centre at night. The campaign and website aims to encourage them to stay as safe as possible by thinking about planning ahead more - in terms of drinking safely, looking out for each other and arranging how to get home."
So what has prompted this new campaign in Glasgow?
Jane Hasler, Co-ordinator for Greater Glasgow's Alcohol Action Team, explained: "Alcohol research in the Scottish Health Survey showed that although women exceeding weekly limits across Greater Glasgow decreased from 15% to 14% between 1995 and 1998, 38% of men reported exceeding healthy limits in both 1995 and 1997.
Jane went on: "In 2003/04 alone, there were 775 hospital admissions of people for acute alcohol intoxication in Glasgow city centre. And in 2002, almost 7,000 alcohol-related offences were recorded.
"Ending up in A&E or in police custody because of the effects of alcohol is no-one's idea of a fun end to a night out."
Nikki Boyle, Alcohol Health Promotion Officer from Greater Glasgow NHS Health Promotion Department, added: "Glasgow is certainly a great place to go out and about and have a good time, especially at this time of year.
"We hope that Play Safe in Glasgow will help people to have festive nights in the city to remember – not ones to forget."
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NOTES TO EDITORS:
·The City Centre Alcohol Action Group has representatives from: NHS Greater Glasgow, Glasgow City Council, Strathclyde Police, Greater Glasgow Alcohol Action Team, Safer City Centre Initiative, ServeWise, Procurator Fiscal Office, Scottish Licensed Trade Association, Glasgow Council on Alcohol, Glasgow Night Club Forum and Brittish Entertainment and Disco Association Scotland.