Safer Drinking Scenes Project 2011/2013 – Alcohol abuse among young people in public spaces

“Safer Drinking Scenes”: The Binge Drinking phenomenon (2011 – 2013)

Massive alcohol consumption by young people in public spaces, often referred to as “binge drinking”, is a growing phenomenon in most European cities. It has therefore become a focus of attention and is now mentioned frequently as a priority of local policing. This type of consumption must be taken into account on three levels: sanitary risks, potential anti-social behaviour and an increased risk of victimisation.

Since 2007, the French Forum for Urban Security (FFSU) has been working on this at a national level and especially with the creation of an inter-city exchange working group on this topic. It seemed necessary to bring the discussions to the European level to confront the situations and practices implemented in different European cities.

With the help of the European Commission, which co-finances the project (“prevention of and fight against crime” programme ISEC 2009), the FFSU has brought together a consortium of cities and an expert committee to pool knowledge and best practices, and foster exchanges through a series of visits to cities. While the final aim is to produce a toolkit which will be widely disseminated, a multilingual website has also been opened at the beginning of the project. It includes results of the research, best practices and available tools, advice and recommendations. The project is scheduled on a 30-month basis. The final conference took place in Nantes from the 13th to the 14th of June 2013.

The partnership:

  • Anvers (BE)
  • Bordeaux (FR)
  • Brest (FR)
  • La Rochelle (FR)
  • Liège (BE)
  • Reggio Emilia (IT)
  • Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames (UK)
  • Stuttgart (DE)
  • Nantes (FR)
  • Rotterdam (NL)

The expert committee set up for the project is composed of both the French and European Forums, Marie-Line Tovar, from the French Observatory for Drugs and Addictions (OFDT), Dr Laurent Karila, addiction specialist at the Paul Brousse Hospital in Paris, and Dr Phil Hadfield, international alcohol policy expert from Leeds University. The Belgian Forum for Prevention and Urban Security is also part of the Expert Committee.

The kick off seminar took place on 19 and 20 January 2011 in Paris

This seminar gathered the partner cities of the project and the expert committee. The details of the project, the framework for city visits and the strategic and political objectives of the project were defined by the participants. The experts presented the characteristics of the binge drinking phenomenon from a clinical, epidemiological and socio-demographic perspective, in France and in Europe. The project starts by a phase focused on gathering information and experience, which is led by the expert committee.

Members can download a copy of the publication “Safer Drinking Scenes : Alcohol, City and Nightlife” on the Efus Network online platform.