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Data suggests Alcohol Licensed Premises may be breaking the law

11 September 2013

Cardiff University scientists have developed a novel new data source* on Alcohol Licensed Premises that are potentially breaking the law in serving alcohol to drunken customers.

Under the Licensing Act 2003 it is an offence to sell, or attempt to sell, alcohol to a person who is drunk. Records show that between September 2012 and March 2013, 306 night-time revellers were admitted to Cardiff’s Alcohol Treatment Centre (ATC)** with very severe alcohol intoxication.

Throughout the six-month period, testimony received from patients – and their friends - receiving treatment for intoxication, named 76 of the city’s licensed venues as having serving them their last drink.

Cardiff University’s Violence and Society Research Group analysed the data provided by the ATC, thus providing new insights into potential breaches of license conditions. The top five most frequently named venues - where according to patients and people accompanying them they received their last drink - are as follows:

1. Walkabout
(testimonies: 8.17%)

2. Oceana
(testimonies: 7.84%)

3. Glam
(testimonies: 6.86%)

4. Vodka Revolution
(testimonies: 4.58%)

5. Soda Bar
(testimonies: 3.92%)

Other venues named include Lloyds Bar (3.59%), O’Neill’s (2.94%) and the Cardiff Students’ Union (2.94%). One in ten (10.78%) people who ended up needing treatment for intoxication said they’d taken their last drink in a private residence, while 6.54% said they’d obtained their last drink on the street.

Director of Cardiff University’s Violence and Society Research Group, Professor Jonathan Shepherd, who developed the data-sharing model, said: "We’re confident that these are reliable data and that this is an important new source of intelligence for tackling the epidemic of night-time drunkenness in Cardiff and the harm and expense it causes. This new intelligence will help continue the reduction in levels of injury and disorder in the city centre."

The Alcohol Treatment Centre provides an innovative response to the heavy demands placed on health and police services by severe alcohol intoxication displayed by patrons of the night-time economy in Cardiff.

The ‘last drink’ data is passed to South Wales Police and Cardiff County Council licensing department - the intelligence is helping inform the Police Licensing ‘Traffic Light System’.

The scheme is used to keep track of alcohol-related incidents associated with Licensed Premises and is based on a points system. The information obtained is analysed and used to identify at a very early stage those licensed premises which are problematic, and highlight the need for the police to work with the operator to resolve the problems.

As a member of the government’s Alcohol Strategy Group, Professor Shepherd has shared this new intelligence source with the Home Office, providing the opportunity for this new intelligence to be taken up by licensing authorities, emergency departments and Police forces across the UK.


*Please see attached Alcohol Treatment Centre data sheet Last drink data from Alcohol Treatment Centre Sept to Mrch 2013
**The Alcohol Treatment Centre is a collaboration between Wales’ Community Payback Team and Cardiff and Vale University Health Board.

Useful links:
Cardiff University’s Violence and Society Research Group

For further information or to arrange an interview, please contact:

Professor Jonathan Shepherd
Tel: 029 20744215/2447
Mobile: 07779490022


Tomas Llewelyn Barrett
Public Relations
Cardiff University
Tel: 029 20 875 596
Mobile: 07950792532

Cardiff University
Cardiff University is recognised in independent government assessments as one of Britain’s leading teaching and research universities and is a member of the Russell Group of the UK’s most research intensive universities. Among its academic staff are two Nobel Laureates, including the winner of the 2007 Nobel Prize for Medicine, University Chancellor Professor Sir Martin Evans. Founded by Royal Charter in 1883, today the University combines impressive modern facilities and a dynamic approach to teaching and research. The University’s breadth of expertise encompasses: the College of Humanities and Social Sciences; the College of Biomedical and Life Sciences; and the College of Physical Sciences, along with a longstanding commitment to lifelong learning. Cardiff's three flagship Research Institutes are offering radical new approaches to neurosciences and mental health, cancer stem cells and sustainable places.