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Volume 447: debated on Tuesday 13 June 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what action he proposes to take (a) to discourage alcohol volume drinking and (b) to promote soft drink alternatives to alcohol; and what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry to this end. (74613)

The Government are proposing a number of measures to discourage alcohol volume drinking: it will later on this year begin a campaign to discourage binge-drinking, focusing on specific groups at the highest risk of harm; it is currently working with the alcohol industry and others to refresh and promote the “sensible drinking message”, including on product labelling; and it is working with the industry to prevent irresponsible drinks promotions, in particular those that encourage people to drink too much, too quickly.

The Government support the industry’s Social Responsibility Standards document and the Portman Group’s code of practice, both of which include guidance on preventing irresponsible promotions. We are also encouraging the licensed trade to promote the safe consumption of alcohol, for example by linking alcohol promotions with soft drinks or food.

The Department for Trade and Industry was involved in the development of the Social Responsibility Standards document and has provided advice on the competition issues impacting price promotions.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many alcohol-related crimes have been committed in each of the last five years, broken down by (a) age and (b) sex of offenders. (75407)

From the information collected, it is not possible to identify those offences which are alcohol-related. Such offences are not specifically defined by statute and details of the individual circumstances of offences do not feature in either the recorded crime or court proceedings data series.