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Investigating the link between alcohol and violence Dr Alasdair Forsyth PhD Scottish Institute for Policing Research (SIPR) ‘A Professional Development.

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Presentation on theme: "Investigating the link between alcohol and violence Dr Alasdair Forsyth PhD Scottish Institute for Policing Research (SIPR) ‘A Professional Development."— Presentation transcript:

1 Investigating the link between alcohol and violence Dr Alasdair Forsyth PhD Scottish Institute for Policing Research (SIPR) ‘A Professional Development Workshop for Analysts’ University of Dundee 31/05/11

2 Recent alcohol and violence research Glasgow Centre for the Study if Violence ( ) Research with Young Offenders (‘The McKinlay Report’) Backed up by evidence from the centre’s other research including… -Observational studies in on-trade licensed premises (NTE) -Focus Groups with youth street drinkers in situ -Visual methods (interpretive photography) in off-trade alcohol -Interviews with publicans and shopkeepers The next phase, continuing work with off–trade servers, based now the Institute of Society & Social Justice, starts tomorrow!

3 Homicide: Drink/drug status of accused persons (where known) Source: Statistical Bulletin Crime & Justice Series, 2005, Homicide in Scotland 2004/05 Correlation or Causation?

4 Source: Changing Scotland’s relationship with alcohol: a discussion paper on our strategic approach, June 2008 Correlation or Causation? Litres pure alcohol consumption (UK) per capita

5 Alcohol trends – also a health issue Cirrhosis Deaths [ ] Source: Leon & McCambridge (2006) Lancet; 357,

6 Alcohol trends – and a young male issue Cirrhosis Deaths [ ] Source: Leon & McCambridge (2006) Lancet; 357,

7 Especially a Glasgow issue! Source: DPH Report / Online edition - Chapter 5, Alcohol: The Burden of Harm

8 Correlation or Causation? Number of non-sexual crimes of violence per 10,000 population Source: Scottish Government (2008) Equally Well: Report of the Ministerial Task Force on Health Inequalities - Volume 2

9 History repeating? Scotland’s ‘booze n’ blades culture’ – an obvious example of the [dys]functional relationship between alcohol and violence?

10 Alcohol and Violence among Young Male Offenders in Scotland Male Young Offender (YOI) samples (aged 16 – 21) Quantitative surveys – 1979 (n = 96) Alcohol – 1996 (n = 152) Alcohol & Drugs – 2007 (n = 172) Alcohol & Drugs + Weapons Qualitative Interviews – 2008 (n =30) Acknowledgements: Bill McKinlay who conducted the 1979 & 1996 surveys and Furzana Khan who carried-out the 2008 interviews. Staff and prisoners at HMPYOI Polmont for their assistance and participation. The late Dr David Shewan without whose input the 2007 and 2008 phases would not have taken place. Disclaimer - The views expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the Scottish Prison Service

11 Changes in Young Offender Population Survey Mean Age If married17 (17.7%)4 (2.6%)2 (1.2%) Co-habiting10 (10.4%)13 (8.6%)33 (20.1%) Single69 (71.9%)134 (88.7%)129 (78.7) If has any children14 (14.6%)25 (16.4%)25 (14.9%) If Employed (inc. training etc.) 31 (32.3%)18 (11.8%)64 (38.3%) If lives in with parents63 (65.6%)65 (47.4%)111 (65.7%) Own residence17 (17.7%)35 (25.5%)24 (14.2%) Other (e.g. ‘digs’, hostel etc.)16 (16.6%)37 (27.0%)34 (20.1%) Father Employed52 (63.4%)59 (38.8%)93 (63.3%) Mother Employed44 (48.4%)49 (32.2%)77 (51.7%)

12 Young Offenders intoxicated behaviour Survey If drinksalcohol87 (90.6%)111 (74.0%)155 (90.6%) If drank prior to offence56 (58.9%)59 (41.3%)117 (81.3%) If gets “drunk” “daily”7 (7.3%)31 (22.6%)49 (40.1%) If mixes alcohol + other drugs15 (15.6%)92 (64.8%)119 (78.8%) If blames offence on alcohol28 (29.5%)56 (40.0%)79 (56.8%) If blames alcohol use only-31 (22.5%)45 (36.3%) If blames alcohol + drugs*-24 (17.4%)25 (20.2%) If blames drug involvement only-30 (21.7%)12 (9.7%) *In 2007, of those who specified a drug, 24 (51.1%) blamed diazepam, 17 (of the 21 who answered both questions) also blamed alcohol for their current offence. Only 10 blamed heroin for their offence. Heroin / IV drug users tended to live in the most remote parts of Scotland represented in the sample.

13 Changes in attributing blame

14 Young Offenders violence (current offence) Survey Group 1 crime (serious violence) 21 (22.3%)13 (10.0%)87 (53.4%) Group 2 crime (rape + indecency) 6 (6.4%)0 (-)1 (0.6%) Group 3 crime (theft) 34 (36.4%)44 (33.8%)18 (11.0%) Group 4 crime (vandal, fire-raising) 4 (4.3%)2 (1.5%) 6 (3.7%) Group 5 crime (drug, justice, weapon) 3 (3.2%)38 (29.5%)37 (22.7%) Group 6 offences (assault, breach) 22 (23.4%)23 (17.9%)29 (17.8%) Group 7 offences (motor vehicle) 4 (4.3%)10 (7.7%)9 (5.5%) Any Violent (G1+rape+assault+weapon) 37 (42.0%)30 (23.1%)119 (73.0%) Note – figures do not add up to 100% as some prisoners had more than one offence

15 Young Offenders alcohol & weapons (2007) A majority of the sample (63.8%, n = 97) had ‘carried’ a weapon and/or ‘used’ a weapon (62.7%, n = 96), however users were not a subset of carriers – A similar number stated they had been a gang members (65.7% n = 90) Most ‘users’ (80.5%, n = 62) were under the influence of alcohol. – Diazepam was the illegal drug which weapon users were most often under the influence of (23.4% of ‘users’, n = 18, mostly mixed with alcohol) A “knife” was the most commonly ‘used’ weapon (n = 43) – “Knife” ‘users’ tended to be a subset of those who had had carried (n = 53) (this excludes ‘special’ knives e.g. ‘lockback’, ‘flick’, Stanley®, sword, machete, etc.) A “bottle” was the second most often ‘used’ weapon (n = 21) – In contrast to a knife only 2 prisoners had ever ‘carried’ a “bottle”

16 Young Offender reported weaponry (2007) Sharp instrument (carry/used)Other weapon(carry/used) “Knife”53/43“Gun”3/4 “Sword”8/8Other firearm5/2 “Machete”6/5Vehicle0/1 “Lock-back”14/9Pole / Post5/3 Domestic knife2/2Cosh / Baton8/9 Specialised knife1/3“Bat”11/15 Stanley® blade0/1“Baseball bat”7/10 Meat cleaver1/1Other sports6/8 “Blade”3/2Domestic tools8/8 Axe / Hatchet3/2“Brick”1/8 “Bottle”2/21Other designated6/3 Other 5/1Other improvised6/9

17 Survey Findings & Limitations Findings and new questions Alcohol and violence linked (over time and within offender samples) Weapons (e.g. bottles) also appeared to be linked (and gangs) Differences between alcohol and other drugs (except diazepam) Potential Limitations of survey method – Convenience sampling at induction But the 2007 survey equates to between 1/3 and 1/2 total Scottish Young Offender population at any point in time that year So the survey was representative measured with recent recall – Needs in-depth (face-to-face, directed) qualitative research To provide confirmation of survey results (triangulation = confirmation) To provide explanation (e.g. why blame alcohol) To give young offenders a voice (e.g. what’s to be done)

18 Qualitative Interviews (2008) 30 interviewees (recruited in same way as survey) Mean age 18.3 years 60.0% in custody for a Group 1 crime –80/0% in custody for any violent offence –66.6% current offence involved weapons (self-report) Those whose current offence was non-violent provided similar accounts from previous experience of violence (often multiple incidents, as either the assailant or the victim) Illustrative examples (interview quotes) provide –Context of offences (what the figures don’t show) –Explain inconsistencies (e.g. use/carry, bottles, diazepam) –Test out intoxication and violence theories

19 Designated Intoxication theories Arousal Hypothesis – some drugs trigger our aggressive tendencies, get ‘psyched up’, automatons acting ‘out of character’ in the moment Disinhibition Hypothesis - loose sense of ‘right and wrong’, act on impulse (“it [wine] makes a man mistake words for thoughts”, Samuel Johnson ) Rational Disinhibition – pre-planned intoxication, ‘Dutch courage’ to facilitate violence (or a controlling fear of it in others, e.g. in IPV) Appraisal Disruption - failure to respond to stress or interpret threat, (e.g. facial expressions - Ekman’s Faces) ‘who are you looking at?’ Susceptibility Hypothesis – background factors, both genetic (e.g. men) and/or social (e.g. ‘hyper-’masculinity), individual or societal (or all e.g. youth) Attentional Hypothesis - overreact to cues / triggers, ‘alcoholic myopia’ a failure to think through consequences (e.g. arrest / prison) Deviance Disavowal - post-hoc attributional, ‘only an excuse’ (e.g. in IPV) ‘must have been drunk because I’ve got a head injury’ (very Scottish explanation)

20 Alcohol as an escalator of violence (arousal theory?) “We’d probably end up fighting, but if I was sober I would throw a few punches and that, but if I was drunk I’d pick up a bottle or a brick or something and then it would end up much, much worse. If I had ‘blues’ [diazepam] as well it would be worse as well.” (‘Gordon’, 18 years-old, serious assault) “If I hadn’t been out of it [i.e. drunk] I don’t think I would have went as far with it man. I opened up three times man and stabbed him in the face and on the side of his head and that.” … “I didn’t have a knife man it was the bottle I had, it was the neck of the bottle I stabbed him with. It was two Buckfast bottles and a ‘Maddog’ bottle.” (‘Elliot’, 17 year-old, attempt murder)

21 Alcohol dis-inhibition / impulse “…there is a boy I’ve had problems with for years and eh just disagreements problems for ages and I seen him one night. I’d had a half [bottle of] vodka or something, not much but enough. I seen him one night and he challenged me to a fight, and cos’ I had a drink in me I wanted to go for it and we started fighting and I hit him with a [half full Buckfast] bottle.” (‘William’, 18 year-old, serious assault) “No it [stabbing] wouldn’t have happened, definitely would not have happened. My brother would not have punched him [the victim] I would have stopped my brother from hitting the guy, and starting it. I knew the guy, I liked him and he liked me as well but I was full of it [drunk] and then I lost it man, it was right over the top man.” (‘Dougie’, 17 years-old, 2 serious assaults)

22 Alcohol ‘myopia’ and threat appraisal “No it wouldn’t have, we wouldn’t have done anything to the guy [victim]. We wouldn’t have been there [outside in another town] in the first place. But we were drunk and we didn’t think about what we were doing. We didn’t think about the consequences. Then it [bottle attack on off-duty PC] happened and I got the jail.” (‘Hugh’, 16 year-old serious assault) “If I wasn’t drinking I don’t think that [current offence] would have happened cos’ I would have went for the bar staff and says to them ‘look I’m getting hassled and that’ and they could have kept him [the victim] in and we could have left. But when you’ve got a drink in you, you just do it … What I thought was if someone smashes two bottles and I was walking towards them, I would have ran away eh, but I smashed the bottles and he’s [the victim] still coming towards me and I just hit him across the head, well just at the side of the face and then that’s when I ran away eh?” (‘Kenny’, 19 year-old, serious assault)

23 Alcohol susceptibility / deviance disavowal “ Yes if I touch sprits I’d fight. In the house and out the house, eh I’d probably have a big bottle and then I’d just get pissed. I used to hit ma girlfriend. She’d not be drunk. I stopped that though.” … [When asked why by the interviewer] “Because of my past, because my dad used to hit my mum and eh, em I just took after him.” (‘Rory’, 18 year-old, car theft) “They lifted me for having the axe in a shop. I was trying to get fags [cigarettes] out of the shop. I cannae remember doing it, the only time I knew what I’d done was when I seen the CCTV when I was up in court. I had the axe [shows how he waved it around] and went like that in the shop.” … “If I hadn’t had a drink I wouldn’t have gone out with an axe.” … “I would have gone for fags anyway but I wouldn’t have taken an axe.” (‘Stevie’, 19-year old, assault & robbery) [ ‘Stevie’ had been drinking Buckfast which he had stolen from the same shop prior to this offence.]

24 Complementary Research The shop server/dealers’ perspective “First time there was three of them. I didn’t recognise any of their faces. They got away with ₤50 or so. Second time… one of them had a Halloween mask on and I thought it was a friend of my sons dressed up so I says ‘come on, come on’ and went to pull the mask off and he put a knife to my throat… Third time it was three guys and that was frightening cos’ there was a customer in the shop who had a new baby. She went hysterical. I think that was what kept me calm because one of the guys was at the door with a hammer above the baby’s head.” … “After the third time I started crying for no reason. I think I was off for four days. I had victim support out one time…” (Female shop sever #14, off-sales study in a Scottish town, 2007.) Source: Forsyth, Davidson & Lennox, 2007

25 ‘Booze n’ blades’ - owners into carriers “I had a machete in the house and I took it out the house. I bought it off someone and walked round the house with it and put it in my room. I never took it out the house when I was sober though.” (‘Stevie’ 19-year old, assault & robbery) “Why did you want to buy that?” (Interviewer FK) “I don’t know. It looked smart. Everyone has got knives” [note but it was an axe that Stevie took to the shop] “I’d get drunk and go back home and get a knife, but I wouldn’t do it if I was sober know what I mean, you don’t need one, but when you’re drunk and then you think you’ll go up and get one. It’s stupid isn’t it?” (‘Hugh’, 19 year-old, serious assault)

26 ‘Booze n’ blades’ - carriers into users “As for the offence, I cannae [cannot] remember, I was that pissed [drunk]… I remember attacking him, but I don’t remember if I had a knife in my hand or not, but I must have had a knife in my hand if he’s ended up with two stab marks and I always had a knife at one point, especially if leaving my area, I would always have one on me because everybody else carried one, and I thought if I’m going to get attacked, and somebody’s got a knife, then I’m no going to stand there with nothing” (‘Roy’, 19 year-old, attempt murder) “…we started drinking and I took 10 Valium [diazepam tablets] and I was walking down and this cunt [the victim] started, I must have run away to my house and got three knives and gave one to all ma pals [friends] and I had one… so I stabbed him” (‘Michael’, 17 years old, serious assault) [alcohol also created weapon providers and receivers, e.g. in ‘gangs’]

27 ‘Booze n’ blades’ / rational disinhibition “And then eh we’d go to [name of next area] and there would be hundreds [lots] of boys there and we’d end up fighting. Don’t know why we went, it was drink eh? When we were drinking we’d just go ‘we’ll just go up for a fight’.” … “You don’t really care when your full of drink do you? Yes you don’t care. You care when you get caught and get stabbed and all the rest of it yes, but you just think ‘that’ll never happen to me’, you think all that don’t you?” (‘Gordon’, 18 year-old, serious assault) [but ‘Gordon’ did get caught…] “I got caught [during a gang fight] and hit with a ‘tenner shot’ [large blade], hit with a machete, and stabbed with a bottle in the head two or three times. It left a scar there, there and one in the back [points to scars on his head]. I got a fractured skull as well… I went back out [gang fighting] as soon as I got my stitches out… Cos’ it’s boring sitting in the house, it’s something to do. It’s like an adrenalin rush when you’re running about with all your pals and all that, that’s what it was yeah.” (‘Gordon’)

28 Alcohol & ‘glass myopia’ “I definitely would not have done it if I was sober. I would have went down and put a stop to it, but I definitely would not have hit him with a bottle like that.” (‘Allan’, 18 year-old, serious assault) “So how do you end up hitting someone on the head with a bottle?” (Interviewer FK) “Cos I had the [vodka] bottle, it’s what I was drinking.” “I would have started fighting with him yes but I wouldn’t have hit him with a bottle.” (‘William’, 18 year-old, serious assault) “Cos’ you wouldn’t have had the bottle?” (Interviewer FK) “Yes [laughs] but I wouldn’t have done it anyway if I had it if I was sober.”

29 Free ready made weapons “There is always bottles around you anyway. Not a stash of them, if you’re walking in the park you’ll always find some there and there are folk there and they have weapons you’re going to pick one up.” (‘Duncan’, 17 years-old, ‘Serious Assault’) “…when we were about 14 [years old] and that we’d just meet up in the fields [facing the next former coal-mining community]. Then we’d fight all the time. Aye we used to pick up things on the way over, bottles whatever, not from the house but you always found something anyway.” (‘Adam’, 17 years-old, Racially-aggravated Assault)

30 Complementary Research Street drinking focus groups – glass! (P2)“I mean the number of times you walk down the street and you see like basically bottles of Buckfast smashed on the ground and you’re basically trying to dodge the glass so you’re not getting it in your foot or anything.” (P1)“And the amount of fights! I mean that’s a great idea, why don’t you sell neds’ number one drink in glass bottles coz that’s not going to make the fights worse, you know?” (Focus Group #8, suburban park) (P1)“Bucky [Buckfast] bottles all over the place, you don't see any other kind, you don't even see vodka bottles. You know they [‘neds’] drink vodka but all you see are the Bucky bottles lying about all over the place and blood everywhere.” (Focus Group #23, city civic square) Source: Galloway, Forsyth & Shewan (2007) [these were ‘alternative’ youth culture groups who were referring to street drinkers of similar youth culture appearance to those in the next slide]

31 Complementary Research Street drinking focus groups – (hyper)masculinty “What else have you got? Bucky [Buckfast], Red Square” (interviewer JG) (P2) “Aye, the old poof-juice, he’s [(P4)] on the Red Square Ice.” (P3) “That's all he drinks poof juice though isn’t it?” (P1)“Aye.” […deleted quote…] (P3) “He [pointing to (P4)] likes a good rubbing up the ass!” “Why that [inferring Red Square] then?” (Interviewer JG) (P4) “Coz that's [pointing at Buckfast] stinking!” (P2) “Aye, he's got a different taste. He's a lightweight basically. He likes boys!” (P3) “That's what makes him an outsider.” (Focus Group #12, small town river walkway) [note – these data not reliant on self-report]

32 Complementary Research Every broken bottle has a story Top 10 (most often) Brands of alcohol B rands consumed by Young product: GlassOffenders who drank alcohol photographed (n=587) prior to their current offence Buckfast tonic wine54.0%43.4% Stella Artois lager 8.0% 2.0% Tennent’s* 0.5% 4.0% Miller lager 1.5% 3.0% Glen’s vodka 7.1% 1.0% Budweiser lager 5.9% 1.0% Carling lager 3.7% 0 Strongbow* 0 3.0% Smirnoff* 1.5% 0 Grolsch lager 1.7% 0 * indicates brands not products (e.g. Smirnoff Ice alcopop or Smirnoff vodka) Source: Forsyth, Davidson & Lennox (2007)

33 Complementary Research The ‘glass carpet’

34 Complementary Research Glass by Census Data Zone (1 = most deprived > 30 least)

35 Complementary Research Screw-caps = added risk

36 Consequences of alcohol & glass Photographs courtesy of Marjorie Golding, her son was ‘glassed’ on Christmas Day 2004 “We don’t carry knives down my way, just bottles.” (‘Adam’, 17 year-old, racially aggravated assault) [ note - none of the Young Offenders at any stage in the research mentioned using an on-trade vessel of domestic tumbler as a weapon, just bottles ]

37 Complementary Research Nightclub observations - glassware on premise [2:30AM] “DJ said something over the microphone to the effect “fight in front of the DJ box”… [We] Went round to the back of the DJ box and found S1, S2 and S3 [stewards] tending to P1 [male] who was bleeding badly from his neck/shoulder area… we saw lots of broken glass on the floor. It might have been toughened glass as it seemed to be broken into little squares but might just been smashed down by people walking on it...” [3:05AM] “Then two males (P1 and P2 [different patrons]) started fighting at table next to us. P1 lunged over at P2 and the two began brawling on to the floor in front of us… P2 threw a glass at P1 which missed P1 and hit the wall showering the people sitting there with glass…” (‘Sinatra’s’ nightclub, Female Observer) Source: Forsyth (2006)

38 Complementary Research Glass-free premise “As I saw it P1 [male patron in leather jacket] was punching P2 [male patron with ponytail] really hard. P2 was punching back and about three of his friends were attempting to fight back with punches. P1 even picked up a plastic bottle (by chance it was the new Vodka Ctrl bottle) and was hitting out with it. After two calls from the DJ that a fight was occurring S1 [steward] ran behind P2 and [broke up the fight]” (‘Xanadu’ nightclub, male observer, 2006) [At ‘Xanadu’ Strathclyde Police recorded 195 crimes & incidents of disorder in 2005, at ‘Sinatra’s’ (featured on previous slide) only 76 such crimes & incidents, yet observers felt safer during this research in ‘Xanadau’ as the violence was not as serious, in part because there was no glass]

39 Alcohol violence and other drugs compared “You’re more likely to fight if you’re drinking. I don’t’ know, if I take drugs I prefer to sit in the house, I don’t walk about the streets.” (‘William’, 19 year-old, serious assault) [note - alcohol was the street drug amongst these Young offenders] “You still know what you’re doing on drugs, but when you’re so drunk you don’t know what you can do…” (‘Callum’, 17 year-old, drink driving) “Ecstasy [was my favourite drug] I wanted to cuddle people and tell them I love them.” (‘Benny’, 18 year-old, serious assault) [as we will see in a later slide, ‘Benny’ was not so cuddly after he had been drinking]

40 Alcohol violence, expectancies and beliefs “Vodka makes me violent. It makes me get really angry man. If I drink lots of it, a half bottle or something, I just start fighting, even if I’m at a pal’s house. If I drink Buckie [Buckfast] I’m fine or if I drink like 24 cans of beer I’ll be drunk, but I won’t cause any trouble.” (‘Stevie’, 19 year-old, assault & robbery) [‘Stevie’ had been drinking Buckfast before his current offence, see ‘alcohol & deviance disavowal’ previous slide] “It [Buckfast] makes you hyper man it’s the caffeine in it. It makes you hyper and you want to jump about and all that. Not like some drinks, I can’t drink vodka it just makes me feel heavy depressed all the time. I don’t like it. Gin just makes you heavy mad, just want to fight with everyone. Buckfast makes you want to party but if anyone’s annoying you they get what’s coming to them.” (‘Elliot’, 17 year-old, attempt murder) [ ‘Elliot’ used 2 Buckfast bottles as stabbing weaponry during current offence, see ‘alcohol as an escalator’ previous slide]

41 Alcohol and diazepam (“the devil’s mixture”) “It had to be Valium [diazepam was my favourite drug], it gives you confidence. When you mix it [with alcohol], it’s the devil’s mixture, it’s pure evil eh, totally evil, you can do things and you don’t remember doing it or nothing. I always just wake up on them and I’m lying in the cells or something and I can’t remember what I’ve done. Some bits come back to you but there are some things I cannae remember at all. I can remember the [current] offence, but I cannae remember using the bottle, but I can remember kicking him in the head and that and stamping him on the head, but I cannae remember hitting him with a bottle.” (‘Kevin’, 17 years old, serious assault) “When I done the stabbings and that I was on Valium [diazepam] and drink. It was Valium and vodka, yes it’s bad. You cannae overdose on Valium unless you take drink, then as soon as you start drinking it gets really bad. When I done that stabbing I took 64 vallies, I slept for a full day. Like I was vallied out ma nut for about a week and then I ended up doing it… ma auntie phoned me and said I had stabbed someone, but I didn’t think I did, but I had blood see all over me.” (‘Eddie’, 17 year-old, motorcycle theft)

42 A long-acting ‘street’ benzodiazepine “No [I had not taken any diazepam tablets prior to current offence] but I had 20 the day before, it would have still be in my system... Yes in all of them [offences] I’ve had ‘blues’ [diazepam]. It was two serious assaults and a kitchen devil [domestic knife]. It’s not good, it’s when you start drinking with it, it makes it worse.” (Gordon, 18 years-old, serious assault) “…sometimes, it [diazepam] can be used in ways that it has the effect on you, but it doesn’t affect you in a way that you’re going to end up so violent, but when you’re drinking with it, it affects you like that. Sometimes when you’re smoking cannabis with it, you relax more and like you can have a good time and that.” (‘Roy’, 19 year-old, attempt murder)

43 Heroin and violence (a hate crime?) “…I’ve been offered heroin. I was offered it in the jail [on remand in adult prison] before I came over here eh. I was offered it a few times, but I’ve seen people get themselves in that way and they steal off people and I hate the way they treat people through their drugs stealing off pensioners and that. I can’t stand them…” (‘Liam’, 20 year-old, possession of 2 knives) “Smack [heroin], it doesn’t get tolerated in my scheme cos’ it’s junkies and that, they steal and all that. If anyone brought it in they would get battered and flung out. ” (‘Colin’, 15 year-old, serious assault)

44 Violence to obtain (more) alcohol “Ma pal had hit him [the victim] with a bat and I had stabbed him. And the police came about three days later or something and I got lifted and that was all for drink. I just went for him cos’ we wanted money for drink. I stabbed him three times, it wasn’t serious stabbing it was like wee pricks and then I stabbed him in the arse once and ma pal hit him with a bat across the head.” (‘Benny’, 18 year-old, serious assault) [Note – ‘Benny’ said he wanted to cuddle people and tell them he loved them when on ecstasy] “I had it [a gun] in the house. I just had it in the house. I hid in ma room. I had it in the house and I went and got it and took it out with us. I knew I was taking it out. I knew I was going to do something, I knew I was going to do something to get money. I didn’t know what. The money was to get a drink. I was mad with it [drunk] and I wanted money for another drink so.” (‘Neil’, 18 year-old, armed robbery) [note – the normative hyper(masculine) explanations for robbery to buy alcohol compared to the non-violent theft of ‘junkies’ of previous slide]

45 Barriers to interventions Is there a problem here? “All ma crimes are related to alcohol but I’m not addicted to it. I could easily go without it. I can stay sober for months…” (‘Callum’, 17 year-old, drink driving) “No, I’m not an alcoholic… I wouldn’t say the drink is a problem, it is when I start fighting with folk and that, but I’ve not really got a problem with it.” (‘Andy’, 20 year-old, drink driving + drunk & disorderly) “Not for my age group but, just you’re going to drink anyway, but if you work all week I think you’re entitled to drink.” (‘Adam’, 17 year-old, racially aggravated assault) “I wouldn’t stop drinking cos’ ma pals stopped, I like having a drink at the weekend, that’s what I work all week for.” (‘Allan’, 18 year-old, serious assault)

46 Interview Findings Mixed methods confirmed and explained: Alcohol’s link to violence – Failure to see alternatives, increases severity, risky settings Drugs not linked (heroin believed to be linked to dishonesty) – Diazepam was the exception (especially if mixed with alcohol) Alcohol linked to weapon use (and gang activity) – Drinking turns weapon owners into carriers, carriers to users Glass an overlooked weapon – Need for off-trade drinks sold in plastic containers – Buckfast use (survey = 43.4% of those drinking before their offence, but interviewed consumers believed spirits made them violent All of above completed previous research using different methods / populations

47 Wider Conclusions Scotland’s association with alcohol, related violence and policies to counter these issues is long-standing At present, there is little evidence to indicate that Scotland’s problems with alcohol (and related violence) are improving There has been a paucity of studies measuring alcohol-related crime in Scotland in recent years (compared to research into other, less problematic, but illegal drugs – and bottles as opposed to knives) There is little evidence of a causal link between alcohol and violence in Scotland, or elsewhere, but when violence does occur alcohol may make the consequences more serious There is a clear need for more interventions to be directed towards alcohol harm reduction (perhaps instead of the ageing problem of illegal drugs – alcohol and violence never went away!)

48 Further Information NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde report: Forsyth, A.J.M., Cloonan, M. & Barr J. (2005) Factors associated with alcohol- related problems within licensed premises: Alcohol Education Research Council (AERC) reports: Forsyth, A.J.M. (2006) Relationships between late night drinks marketing and alcohol related disorder Galloway, J., Forsyth, A.J.M. & Shewan, S. (2007) Young People’s Street Drinking Behaviour: Investigating the Influence of Marketing & Subculture. Forsyth, A.J.M., Davidson, N. & Lennox, J.C. (2007) An investigation into the environmental impact of off-license premises on residential neighbourhoods Scottish Prison Service (SPS) report: McKinlay W., Forsyth, A.J.M. & Khan, F. (2009) Alcohol and Violence among Young Male Offenders in Scotland.


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