Think Safe Drink Safe
This website and the 'Think Safe Drink Safe' campaign have been designed to help you enjoy a safer night out in Croydon. This includes advice on safe drinking, how to avoid incidents of alcohol-related violence and how to make sure you get home safely at the end of the night.
We want you to enjoy your nights out. However, it has been estimated that 40% of violent crime is committed while the offender is under the influence of alcohol (British Crime Survey). Typical offenders tend to be young males, although there has been an increase in female offenders. The Metropolitan Police aim to reduce alcohol-related violent crime, anti-social behavior and the feat of violent crime.
Take a look at this website and you will pick up some useful tips on how to look after yourself when enjoying a night out.Back to top
What Is Binge Drinking?
Binge drinking is consuming large amounts of alcohol over a short period of time.
If you have been out on the beers every night this week and the party invites are still flooding in, follow our simple tips to protect your body and mind.
The amount of alcohol a person consumes is measured in units. Here are some rough examples of what makes up a typical unit:
- Half a pint of beer or cider
- A small glass of wine
- A single measure of spirits (e.g. whisky, vodka, rum or gin)
What Is Acceptable?
Men: As a rule, health experts recommend that adult men drink no more than 21 units per week. In real terms, this means that men shouldn't exceed two pints of lager/beer, or three glasses of wine a day.
Women: Health experts recommend that women do not exceed 14 units of alcohol per week. In real terms, this is a pint or a couple of glasses of wine a day.
Why Is There A Gender Difference?
The male body is made up of 66 per cent fluid, compared to 55 per cent for women; this means that alcohol is more diluted in a man's body than in a woman's. As a result, women tend to get drunk faster than men on the same amount of alcohol.
To find out just how many units of alcohol you are drinking visit www.drinkaware.co.uk
Ways To Drink Safely
- Drink in moderation, pace yourself and your body will not dry out too badly. Alcohol is a drug. If you drink a pint of water before you go to bed at night it will reduce the effect of the alcohol on your body.
- Eat well before you drink and your body will be better equipped to soak up the alcohol. Go for food that takes a long time to digest such as bread, cheese, potato and pasta, as this will line your stomach. A pint of milk is also thought to have the same effect.
- Try not to mix your drinks; you're only adding to the number of toxins that your body has to deal with. If you're planning on a session, stick to one type of drink.
- Try turning up to the bar/party later than usual, to minimise your drinking time, or kick off with a soft drink to stop you feeling so thirsty.
- Binge drinking is dangerous; your body can only process one unit of alcohol per hour. If you can pace your drinking, and know when enough is enough, you will feel a lot better the next day. Before you start drinking, be sure you know when to stop. This can be hard when everyone else is boozing, but practise makes perfect and it will avoid bad hangovers.
- Finally, when the party time is over take a break from drinking. Set aside an alcohol-free period every now and then. It might be one day in a week or a month, but this respite will boost your health no end.
Related Linkswww.drinkaware.co.uk Back to top
What Is Drink Spiking?
Drink spiking is when something has been added to your drink without your knowledge; this includes additional alcohol as well as drugs. Mind-altering substances can also be added to food.
Drink spiking has gone on for thousands of years and while it is relatively rare, it appears to be on the increase. Drink spiking is often done just for fun, but it can have serious consequences. Adding alcohol or drugs to someone's food or drink can aggravate a medical condition or react badly with medication.
Drink spiking is often in the news linked with the rape drug Rohypnol, but there are several reasons why people spike drinks, the most common being:
- Sexual assault/rape
- Theft / robbery
- Kidnap / extortion
While drink spiking might be seen as 'just a bit of fun', it is against the law and can lead to 10 years' imprisonment.
If sexual assault, robbery or theft are involved then the penalties are even higher.
Although women are the main victims of drink spiking, it is thought that 11% of victims are male.
Only 1 in 5 rapes are reported each year. Nationally, over 900 drink spiking incidents were reported in 2002; this means that as many as 4,500 of these offences could have been carried out.
The Roofie Foundation - 0800 783 2980Back to top
Tips for a Safer Night Out
- Walk away from trouble. Fights ruin everyone's night. You could get seriously injured as well as getting banned from every pub and club in town.
- Alternate alcohol with a soft drink.
- Don't put yourself at risk by going home with a stranger.
- Glasses and bottles are used in fights - don't take them outside pubs and clubs.
- Hold on to your drink to avoid it being spiked.
- Don't mix your drinks.
- Check your taxi is licensed - better still book one in advance.
- Carry photo ID - you'll need it if you look under 21.
- Don't ever drink and drive.
- Enjoy a safe night out.
- Text 'Home' to 60835 for local licensed minicab and taxi information.
Related LinksBack to top
How Can the Police Help?
- You can be arrested for any abusive, threatening or violent behaviour and have to spend the night in the cells if you are drunk.
- Police can also issue you with £80 on the spot fines for anti-social behaviour.
- It doesn't stop there? if you are involved in a violent or abusive incident in the pub or club, the police can apply to a court to have you banned from every licensed premises in the area for a minimum of 12 months.
- Local licensees can ban you from all pubs and clubs as well, even if you don't get a conviction.
- At the end of the ban, individual licensees can still refuse to serve you; it is their right.
- A conviction for violence may bar you from applying for a job or travelling abroad.
- If you are under 18 and drinking in a public place, a police officer will take your drink and pour it away.
- Certain areas are no drinking zones; watch out for the signs.
Why Should I Carry Photo ID?
- If you look young for your age then it saves embarrassment if you carry an official document.
- A driving licence or passport is perfect. Croydon pubs and clubs operate a Croydon 21 Scheme and you will be challenged if you look under 21.
- The police and door staff are aware of companies that produce fake ID, don't waste your money on them.
- If you are taken ill or found drunk and can't tell us who you are, ID will help medical staff give you the right treatment.
How Can I Get Home Safely?
- Stay with your friends.
- If you are using trains or buses and miss the last one, have an alternative travel plan.
- Pre-book a taxi and only use licensed taxi's. You can check that the taxi is licensed by asking to see the ID badge of the driver. If in doubt don't get in.
- Croydon now has Safer Travel At Night (STAN) and a Taxi Marshal Scheme in Katharine Street on Friday and Saturday night from 11pm to 4am. (see www.london.gov.uk/mayor/safer_travel for more information)
- Ask a family member to collect you, it's what Mum's and Dad's are for!
- Don't go off with people you have just met; even criminals can be charming.
- If walking, stay on a lit route and don't take shortcuts that aren't safe.
- Don't get in a car if the driver's been drinking.
- Don't drink and drive.
- NEVER drink so much that you can't remember anything; remember you are very vulnerable if you are drunk.
- Text 'HOME' to 60835 for local minicab and taxi information.
- Use TFL Journey Planner, bus timetables or National Rail website to help find the best way home.
How Can I Report Alcohol-related Disorder?
- General Enquires (24 Hours) - 020 8667 1212
- To report a crime
- For information and advice
- Local rate charges
- If life is threatened
- If people are injured
- If offenders are nearby
- If immediate action is required
- Listen carefully to the BT operator who will connect you to the police.