245924 Tackling alcohol-related anti-social behaviour: An evaluation of the Fife Alcohol Diversion Scheme

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Hannah Murgatroyd, BSc(Hons) , School of Medicine, Public Health, University of St Andrews, St Andrews, United Kingdom
Damien Williams, BSc(Hons) PhD , School of Medicine, University of St Andrews, St Andrews, Scotland
Prof Peter D. Donnelly, MD MPH FRCP FFPH , Professor of Public Health Medicine, University of St Andrews, St Andrews, Fife, United Kingdom
Binge drinking and associated antisocial behaviour is a particular problem in the county of Fife, Scotland. The traditional, criminal justice approach to alcohol related anti-social behaviour has been to impose a Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN) of £40 in accordance with the Anti-Social Behaviour etc. (Scotland) Act 2004. However, following a favourable pilot evaluation the Fife Constabulary has rolled out the Fife Alcohol Diversion Scheme across Fife. In instances of alcohol-related anti-social behaviour, offenders are invited to attend a 3-hour alcohol awareness course, run by Fife Alcohol Support Services (FASS) with the FPN waived. The scheme aims to: (1) improve health, (2) reduce binge drinking and (3) reduce the opportunity for alcohol misuse-related victimisation/offending. An on-going, evaluation of the scheme, utilising a mixed methods approach involving qualitative and quantitative techniques is underway. Attendees of the course are given a survey at the beginning, end and three months after the course. Non-attendees are posted two surveys, one soon after receiving the FPN and one 3 months later. In addition, focus groups involving FASS facilitators and Police Officers were undertaken to assess perceptions of the scheme. The evaluation reports (1) changes in attitudes to alcohol and consumption, (2) why people choose to, or not to attend the course, (3) reoffending rates (from Police statistics), (4) Police Officers' and FASS Facilitators' perception of the course and (5) how to improve the scheme. Given the considerable resource invested in the scheme, the evaluation provides the necessary support and input for its further refinement.

Learning Areas:
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Public health or related laws, regulations, standards, or guidelines

Learning Objectives:
Describe the Fife Alcohol Diversion Scheme. Discuss changes in drinking behaviours/attitudes resulting from the Scheme. Assess the efficacy of the Scheme. Discuss how the Scheme can be further refined.

Keywords: Alcohol Use, Policy/Policy Development

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to present as I was involved in the development of the evaluation and supervised the lead author throughout. I am also involved in other areas of research concerning alcohol and its link with criminal behaviour, particularly violence.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.