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Alert kids to the perils of binge drinking

PUBLISHED: 16:24 16 July 2008 | UPDATED: 09:56 23 August 2010

PRIMARY school children should be taught the dangers of drinking alcohol, according to a hard-hitting report published by council chiefs. The Alcohol and Misuse Select Committee Report, published this week, features 28 recommendations to tackle Kent s bi

PRIMARY school children should be taught the dangers of drinking alcohol, according to a hard-hitting report published by council chiefs.

The Alcohol and Misuse Select Committee Report, published this week, features 28 recommendations to tackle Kent's binge drinking culture.

Binge drinking, cheap alcohol and the need to educate youngsters about the perils of abuse are just three key areas highlighted in the new report.

It comes a week after a shopkeeper was allowed to keep his licence after being caught selling alcohol to an underage customer.

Saray Katakus, of Bob's Stores, Lower Higham Road, Gravesend, must keep a register of all refusals to those who appear to be under 21 and only accept passports, driving licences and approved proof of age cards for identification.

Graham Gibbens, Kent County Council cabinet member for public health said: "This is not about telling people what they can and cannot do, this is about being sensible, taking control of your own actions and acting quickly for those whose lives are damaged by alcohol abuse.

"Misuse of alcohol is a serious and strategic issue affecting all parts of society. There needs to be a change in culture and attitudes towards alcohol."

The report was presented to the council's cabinet in March for consideration and calls for urgent action to tackle the expanding 'drinking culture'.

KCC will also run a health campaign to highlight the long-term health risk, dangers to youngsters and the strain it places on emergency services.

It also calls for education in primary and secondary schools, better government finance, a campaign to stop alcohol promotions in supermarkets, lobbying for a tax reflecting the strength of drink and developing links with partner agencies.

Mr Gibbens added: "We need to educate young people about the pitfalls of binge- drinking and the long-term damage.

"There is not just the financial cost caused to the NHS, Police, KCC and other agencies, but families and society also pay a high price for the loss or decline of a loved one and the disruption and disorder the misuse of alcohol can bring."

Statistics released by KCC show that Gravesham and Dartford authority areas are above the national average for all recorded crime attributable to alcohol in 2005/2006.

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