Posted on Wednesday 1st June

"We need to do all we can to drive crime down, and tackling alcohol-related harm is crucial." This is the message from recently elected Police & Crime Commissioner David Keane.

In a bid to crackdown on alcohol related crime Cheshire Constabulary is aiming to change offending behaviour with a new initiative. From 1st June 2016 the Constabulary will be providing an Alcohol Diversion Scheme.

The scheme invites those issued with penalty notices or cautions for only relatively minor alcohol-related offences to attend a three hour interactive educational session. The course is delivered by a substance misuse charity and the offender will pay the fee for attendance rather than pay a fine, similar to a driver awareness course.

These sessions will, through group work and direct learning, educate attendees about the physical, social and psychological effects of alcohol as well as encouraging offenders to acknowledge the consequences of their behaviours and the impact of their drinking on themselves and others.

Head of Criminal Justice, Superintendent Pete Crowcroft said: "Like many forces across the country we have to deal with the fallout of irresponsible behaviour influenced by excessive alcohol consumption. People often end up causing problems within our communities whether it be anti-social behaviour or criminal damage.

"We want to work towards preventing repeat offending by offering offenders the chance to learn about the effects excessive alcohol consumption has on them and deter them from committing further offences. It’s also an opportunity to prevent behaviour escalating to more serious crimes."

Supt Crowcroft continued: "We want people to enjoy what Cheshire has to offer without fear or alarm by reducing the number of crimes related to excessive drinking within our communities. We hope this scheme will go some way to help."

Cheshire Police & Crime Commissioner David Keane added: "Using diversion schemes such as this means the Constabulary can prevent further crime by tackling it head on with education and behaviour change. I hope this scheme will be a positive experience for those who find themselves spending the night in the cells because of excessive alcohol."

We need to do all we can to drive crime down, and tackling alcohol-related harm is crucial.