Work to tackle problematic alcohol use in the city has been guided by the Alcohol Programme Board since 2010 and works within the broad themes of changing attitudes, alcohol availability (including to young people), the night time economy, and treatment for problematic users.
The ‘Big Alcohol Debate’ in 2011 sought to encourage a cultural shift in attitudes to alcohol by challenging and changing tolerance to problematic drinking. Other work has included encouraging events/entertainments in the city which are not strongly focused around alcohol, an example of which is the Bevendean Community Pub Project which aims to provide an alternative approach to the traditional ‘drinking environment’.
May 2012 saw the introduction of the Alcohol Diversion Scheme in the city. This offers adults who have been arrested for drunken behaviour or public order offences to attend a £40 course which encourages them to face the reality of their behaviour as well as threats to their own health by drinking too much. This is an alternative to a £80 fixed penalty notice.
A revised licensing policy in Brighton & Hove came into effect in 2011, increasing the coverage of the Cumulative Impact Zone in the city centre. It introduced a new methodology for assessing new licence applications based on characteristics of the local neighbourhood with the aim of helping to reduce the negative impact of alcohol.