Drugs and alcohol

Authored by: Tim McSweeney , Mike Hough

Handbook of Crime Prevention and Community Safety

Print publication date:  September  2005
Online publication date:  May  2013

Print ISBN: 9781843921479
eBook ISBN: 9781843926146
Adobe ISBN: 9781134014637


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Drug-related crime began to emerge as a significant policy issue in Britain during the late 1980s. Since then it has become progressively more visible as a social and political problem. Alcohol-related crime and disorder have tended to attract policy attention in phases. The intense concern about ‘lager louts’ in the late 1980s abated, but has now re-emerged as a policy issue – with more explicit associations with the late-night economy. As a result, there is now a consensus that there are clear forms of association between both drug and alcohol use and crime, and a degree of consensus, at least, that there are causal links between some forms of drug or alcohol use and some forms of crime. However the nature of these links is complex and the direction of these links remains the source of much debate (Best et al. 2001a; Simpson 2003; Alcohol Concern 2004). Nevertheless this association now forms a key tenet underpinning recent drug, alcohol and crime reduction strategies in Britain.

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