Binge drinkers in Rugby could be behind spate of vandal attacks

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IT IS too easy for vandals to get hold of cheap alcohol, according to people living in the Eastlands area of Rugby.

Cllr Neil Sandison and Dale Keeling are worried that binge drinking has caused some of the vandalism in and around Winfield Recreation Ground. After surveying 600 residents in the area about the problem, Rugby Borough Council installed new signs warning that anyone behaving anti-socially while under the influence of alcohol could be fined £500.

Mr Keeling said: “I regularly hear complaints from residents that they have endured vandalism and criminal damage in their area and that they have subsequently found empty bottles of booze near to where the damage has occurred.

“After talking to residents we received an overwhelming ‘yes’ in favour of stronger action by supermarkets and shops.”

Cllr Sandison (Lib Dem, Eastlands) said he welcomed the Government’s moves to make products like imported cheap lagers and white cider more expensive in line with the alcohol units they contain.

Workers at Rugby-based substance abuse charity Swanswell believe that while raising the price of alcohol was a step in the right direction, alcohol education was also important.

Chris Robinson, Swanswell’s director of services, said: “Although there is evidence to suggest that higher prices can affect the amount of alcohol people drink, that alone won’t help reduce alcohol-related harm but it’s a step in the right direction.

“How alcohol is promoted, where it is placed and a look at the product itself are other aspects that should be considered.

“The Government’s new alcohol strategy touches on some of this through minimum pricing and other proposals.

“Alcohol education and clear guidance are also essential to help people understand the effect regular or excessive drinking can have on themselves and their communities.”