DRUNK revellers in Bury who fall foul of the law could have their fines halved by agreeing to view graphic images of booze-fulled violence as part of a new police initiative.
Greater Manchester Police (GMP) and charity Druglink have launched the Alcohol Diversion Scheme, in an attempt to drastically reduce drunken behaviour.
The course will be offered to anyone given a £90 fixed penalty for being drunk and disorderly or committing an alcohol-related public order offence, reducing their fine to £45.
Mirroring current driver awareness workshops, the three-hour interactive scheme sees drinkers watch real footage of alcohol-related violence, including a one-punch murder.
It will also focus on the impacts of excessive drinking on the health, families and careers of individuals attending.
PC Natalie Dolan, licensing and anti-social behaviour lead for GMP, said the police could not keep “picking up the pieces”. She said: “If you go out in Bury town centre, people are getting into fights at 3am and 4am after they have been drinking for hours.
“This is to tackle binge drinkers, not alcoholics, and change people’s behaviour.
“It is just as much women as men and often it is respectable people who have a career or a family but after drinking excessively get out of hand. This is something we have seen get worse since alcohol has become available more cheaply in supermarkets and 24-hour drinking has come into play.”
Anyone who fails to attend will have to pay the full fine, and if it is not paid, court proceedings will follow.
Drinkers can only go to the class once and anyone who fails to turn up will have their fine re-instated plus a further 50 per cent.
GMP Assistant Chief Constable Garry Shewan said: “Evidence from other areas shows the scheme can lead to a significant drop in re-offending, as people often change their behaviour after reflecting on their actions.
“This means we can reduce the huge costs of dealing with this problem, and focus more of our officers and resources on dealing with other types of crime.”
Sue Green, Diversion Scheme lead for Druglink, said: “The aim is not to preach, but to help people take more responsibility for their lives, and to moderate their future behaviour and alcohol consumption.”