Why Middlesbrough is the fifth riskiest place to drink in England

MIDDLESBROUGH has been ranked the fifth most dangerous place to drink in England.
A worrying 960 per 100,000 people in the town needed medical treatment for alcohol-related issues last year.
Joining Middlesbrough in the top ten were the three North-East neighbours – Sunderland, Gateshead and South Tyneside.
Shockingly, fourteen of the twenty worst-hit areas were all in the North of England, according to the figures discovered by Labour MP Liam Byrne.

Across the country in 2013/14 there were 3,370 alcohol-provoked assaults with 1,230 of those being admitted to hospital aged 16-24.

Dorothy Newbury-Birch, Professor of Alcohol and Public Health Research at Teesside University, said: “I think the issue is people don’t know what risky drinking is and I think, especially for university students, they are getting into situations where they are risky drinking and making bad choices.

“We know that by drinking too much you can get yourself into situations such as having accidents, getting into fights and unsafe or regretted sex.

“There is a period of time between the ages of 16-24 where young people do drink more than they will as time goes on and they get older.

“A lot of young people will reduce their drinking after University, it’s a time where they are coming to a different place, making new friends and drinking seems to be part of that without the awareness of the risks that are associated with that.”

Last year, it was revealed in a Natwest survey that on average, students spend £9.80 a week on alcohol.

Professor Newbury-Birch said: “In terms of violence, one of the other things students need to be aware of is that if you get a criminal record it could have a real effect on your future career.

“Something that can seem so trivial, can have long term consequences.”

There were over one million alcohol-related hospital admissions in England in 2013/14 with 67,570 of them in the North East, shining light on the toxic relationship between alcohol and Britain.

MIDDLESBROUGH: Teesside University's Student Union

 Teesside University SU: Students feel “safe”.

Kevin Foh, who has been a security guard for two years, works on the frontline of Middlesbrough’s nightlife.

He said: “I’ve seen quite a lot of violence in my stint on the doors. It happens in seconds from out of nowhere; one remark or one glance at someone’s partner and it can all change from a jolly night out to bloodshed in a blink.

“The area has high unemployment and somewhat of a macho image from its steel making past, for example and many men feel like it’s a release for them to wind up in street fights when really all it does is land them in heaps of trouble.

“Most violence however is broke up and diffused by the good door staff in our licensed premises but occasionally the victims aren’t so lucky.

“People need to realise that one single mistake can cost all parties dearly by causing serious injury or even death.”

Shauni McMahon, a child development student, said: “I do believe Middlesbrough is a dangerous place to drink because of the amount of incidents that have happened and all the fights that you see.

“If you are in a big group you don’t feel as intimidated but if you are walking on your own I definitely wouldn’t feel safe.”

Young adults and alcohol

from Tside