Alcohol action will be top of the agenda today (Wednesday) at a conference in the City Chambers.
‘Play Safe in Glasgow - Exploring Alcohol and the Evening Economy', led by the Glasgow City Centre Alcohol Action Group, will involve more than 100 delegates from sectors including NHS Greater Glasgow, the city's licensed trade and the police force. And participants will be able to share ideas, give work updates and use themed workshops to identify future action for tackling Glasgow city centre alcohol issues.
Catriona Renfrew, Chair of Greater Glasgow's Alcohol Action Team, said: "Alcohol is undoubtedly a major subject in our city. It's estimated that between 8 and 15% of our Accident and Emergency admissions are alcohol-related - and at weekends, as many as 30% of the admissions involving people under the age of 18 can be alcohol-related.
"Today's conference will not only let Glasgow City Centre Alcohol Action Group (GCCAAG) give updates on its work so far, but it will allow the right people to get together and plan the way forward, while getting a broader range of representation on board."
The event, which will be presented by Willie Caie, Chairman of GCCAAG, will include speeches from Councillor Jim Coleman, Deputy Leader of Glasgow City Council and NHS Greater Glasgow Board member; Catriona Renfrew, Chair of Greater Glasgow's Alcohol Action Team; and Jack Cummins of the Scottish Executive's Expert Group on Licensing Reform.
The conference will also include workshops focusing on six areas:
Catriona Renfrew added: "These workshops are hoped to be a valuable tool for the City Centre Alcohol Action Team, due to the various backgrounds of the participants. They'll let us hear us directly what people feel should be tackled in the months and years to come."
So what has been done so far by the conference's organisers - Glasgow City Centre Alcohol Action Team?
So far the team - which has been working on reducing alcohol related crime and fear or crime for about 18 months - has concentrated on:
·The development of a Custody Card – which is given to people who are detained in police custody in a bid to educate them about excessive alcohol consumption;
·The Play Safe in Glasgow project – a website and pub/club poster campaign to encourage young people to drink safely, look out for each other and arrange safe ways to get home;
·Alcohol-related research at licensed premises and Accident and Emergency units.
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.
·In 2003/04 alone, there were 775 hospital admissions of people for acute alcohol intoxication in Glasgow city centre.
·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 the healthy limits in both 1995 and 1997.