UK violence falling as alcohol prices soar

Photo: David Shankbone.

Alcohol prices have soared in recent years.

New research has revealed that an increase in UK alcohol prices has led to a 12% fall in violent crime in England and Wales.


Cardiff University researchers found that some 235,000 people were treated in hospital following violent incidents in 2013, nearly 33,000 fewer than in 2012.

The research has highlighted that there has been a steady decrease in violent crime every year for the past six years.

The team concluded that there is a clear link between a fall in binge drinking, which has become more expensive in recent years, and less violence.

Professor Jonathan Shepherd, lead author of the study, said a change in alcohol habits since 2008 could be one reason for the reduction.

Other reasons for the decrease could be the result of police, NHS and local authorities working together in a joint effort to prevent violent crime.

The study, based on a sample of 117 emergency departments, minor injury units and walk-in centres, revealed that violence has fallen more in regions where anti-binge-drinking strategies are best organised.

Professor Shepherd said: “Binge drinking has become less frequent, and the proportion of youths who don’t drink alcohol at all has risen sharply,” he said.

“Also, after decades in which alcohol has become more affordable, since 2008 it has become less affordable.

“For people most prone to involvement in violence, those aged 18 to 30, falls in disposable income are probably an important factor.”


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