Know the Score #DrinkLessEnjoyMore
A campaign to urge people to enjoy a good night out by not having too much to drink is being given a new focus ahead of the Rugby World Cup and Student Freshers Week in the towns and cities of South Wales this autumn.
The Know the Score initiative was launched by South Wales Police & Crime Commissioner Alun Michael and Chief Constable Peter Vaughan to offer positive messages about the consequences of excessive drinking.
It has a simple message for the public: Know the score – drink less, enjoy more.
The campaign has already proved a success, helping to develop a positive culture since it was launched at the start of the last Six Nations, with the strong backing of the Welsh Rugby Union and championed by Wales rugby captain Sam Warburton.
Now the campaign is being given a fresh focus ready for the Rugby World Cup. And it’s being given a new twist with specific messages for students.
Public Health Wales says that evidence shows 18-25 year olds to be most at risk of being hurt by excessive alcohol consumption and crime related to it.
The campaign also supports bar staff and licensed premises to be confident in refusing to break the law by serving people who are clearly drunk. Many people are currently unaware that it is illegal to buy alcohol for a friend who is drunk, and that they could be fined up to £1,000.
Commissioner Alun Michael said: “In the past campaigns have been negative – warning people of the dangers – but our message is that you can enjoy a great night out in Cardiff and Swansea if you use some common sense and heed this message. We want to dispel the myth that a good night out has to involve getting so drunk that you put yourself and others at risk. People who consume too much alcohol often end up getting hurt, or they hurt others or commit serious offences. Those who apply a little common sense have much more of a fun night out.
“For many students, coming to live and study within South Wales is a new and exciting chapter of their lives. Sometimes many students can get carried away and forgot what is important, and part of our message is to ask people to look out for each other”
Know the Score will continue to give messages to the public during events when increased alcohol consumption is likely – such as big sporting events and Freshers when students descend on town and city centres across South Wales. The public are encouraged to support the campaign by taking part in the responsible drinking debate on social media, using #drinklessenjoymore, and by thinking about their own alcohol intake.
A range of promotional items will be displayed in pubs, clubs and students union bars – including posters depicting a donkey and a spanner which aim to get the serious message across in a fun and engaging way. The images will also be used on social media so they can be shared and viewed by a wide audience.
South Wales Police Assistant Chief Constable Richard Lewis said: “There is a clear link between people getting drunk and then becoming a perpetrator or victim of crime, both of which can have serious consequences for the individual. Those consequences can last for the rest of their lives.
“We want people to go out, enjoy themselves but drink responsibly and play their part in reducing levels of alcohol-related crime and disorder.”
The campaign is part of a wider programme of activity in South Wales aimed at promoting a safe night-time economy as well as reducing and preventing violent crime. It includes working with partners to improve data and information about causes of violent crime and its impact on victims.
Mr Michael added: “Tackling violent crime is a key priority. Chief Constable Peter Vaughan and I, together with our partners throughout South Wales, have done a lot to make our town and city centres safer. The Help Point in Swansea, the Alcohol Treatment Centre in Cardiff and improved training for staff within the night time economy are just three important examples.
“Door staff, licensees, student volunteers, St John, local authority taxi marshals and street pastors are all playing an important role in this positive campaign.
“South Wales has some great town and city centre venues so we want people to know how to have a great time out while taking responsibility for themselves and their friends.”
The latest phase of the Know the Score will look to build on some early successes which resulted in a change of attitudes towards excessive alcohol consumption.
Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner Sophie Howe said “The work carried out through the campaign has provided a better understanding of the drinking habits of people within the night-time economy of South Wales. At the start of this campaign 87% of people surveyed in Swansea and Cardiff said it was socially acceptable to get drunk on a night out – we are pleased that the work of South Wales Police work with partners under the banner of this campaign has helped reduce this to 74%. There is still much more to do – but we’ve made a great start.”
Wales Captain Sam Warburton said:
“As rugby players we learn how to look after our bodies and these days we all know the importance of staying fit and healthy.
“While drinking alcohol socially is perfectly acceptable everyone needs to be responsible for their own intake. A pint and a good chat about the game is part of the rugby experience for many and that can add to the friendly atmosphere which surrounds our game.
“Of course we are all aware of the dangers of over indulging in alcohol and it just makes sense to drink sensibly.
“Players are inspired by great fans and we want them all to get home safely after watching their team play. The Wales squad and the WRU are delighted to hear of the initial success of the campaign and we will continue our support for this extremely important campaign.”