One in four people are too scared to go to certain parts of their local area because of the amount of crime and disorder linked to alcohol abuse.
The findings came as senior medics warned ministers are failing to tackle the true cause of binge-drinking and booze-fuelled disorder, despite the new mandatory code to crackdown on irresponsible drinking.
The code, officially launched yesterday, focuses predominantly on pubs and clubs and bans inappropriate drinks promotions such as "all you can drink" offers and the so-called "dentist chair".
But leading medical bodies warning the code does not go far enough and fails to address the problem of people buying cheap drinks from supermarkets and getting "pre-loaded" at home before going out.
They called for a minimum pricing policy, a week after it emerged the Government is considering such a policy to curb the growing culture of binge drinking.
While not ruling out such a move, Alan Johnson, the Home Secretary, yesterday signalled concerns over it because it will hit drinkers on low incomes – who are traditionally core Labour voters.
The latest polling, by Ipsos MORI, will add to concerns that Labour's relaxation of the licencing laws and the introduction of 24 hour drinking had a negative impact on communities.
It found 27 per cent of people avoid particular areas because of alcohol-related crime and disorder.
The Home Office hopes the mandatory code, parts of which come in to effect from April, will address the issue but the Royal College of Physicians said a wider strategy was needed.
The Royal College of Nursing also called for "bolder action" including minimum pricing and tighter regulations on labelling, sales and advertising.
Professor Ian Gilmore, the RCP president and chairman of the Alcohol Health Alliance UK, said: "By focusing exclusively on bars and nightclubs the Home Office fails to tackle some of the main causes of the problems we are seeing in our neighbourhoods; revellers drunk on cheap supermarket and off-licence alcohol, having ‘pre-loaded’ at home before their nights out.
"Minimum unit pricing is very attractive because it doesn't affect the price of a pint in a pub or a glass of wine in a restaurant but it does target the heavy drinkers and the under-age drinkers who target the cheapest drinks."
Mr Johnson said: "We haven't ruled out an element of pricing here but I think we have to be very careful.
"We don't want to ensure that people ... on good incomes can just carry on as normal but responsible drinkers on low incomes are hit."
The Tories also laid out their plans to tackle problem drinking with a pledge to "take back" town centres and roll back "24-hour drinking".
Alcopops and super-strength beer and cider would face higher levies while bars and clubs wanting late night licences would be hit with a tax to pay for policing.
Chris Huhne, the Liberal Democrat home affairs spokesman, said: "Booze Britain is ruining lives and costing the country billions, but Labour has not only failed to tackle alcohol misuse, it has allowed an epidemic of drink-fuelled crime and illness to take hold."
We always hear of stories of people getting into violence because of alcohol. People have died or been seriously injured as a result. Yet, it seem that we can educate, educate, educate, all we like yet it fall on deaf ears-people are already aware that alcohol does fuel violence and still go and get themselves drunk causing fear and intimidation in the streets. Is this cry for something to be done, something drastic? Should we look towards countries like Saudi Arabia, and implement their strict regime in a sense and make examples of people who have gone into fights due to alcohol?
I don't state necessarily ban alcohol, but encourage people to drink sensibly by implementing fear of the consequences.
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Alcohol and Violence watch
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Last edited by 4G_dollars; 31-01-2010 at 13:41.
- 31-01-2010 13:37
- 31-01-2010 13:46
Britain has been drunk since the Bronze Age Beaker culture. Maybe if they legalized weed people would be more mellow.
- 31-01-2010 14:01
I stopped reading after the first line
a part of their local area = town centre on a saturday night
1 in 4 people = the sort of people who dont need to go to the town centre at that time of night anyway
- 31-01-2010 14:06
Saudi has alcohol-related violence, it's just all kept behind closed doors, as is alcohol consumption.