YORK has "significantly higher rates" of binge drinking than the English average, and it costs the city more than £77 million a year, a new report has shown.
The figures, by Public Health England, will be presented to City of York Council next week (JUL 16), which looked at costs to the NHS, police, council licensing, social services and workplaces in the city, revealing an annual cost of £77.26m to the city.
The figures showed an estimated 47,894 over-18s binge drank in the city, drinking at least twice the daily recommended amount of alcohol in a single session - about 30 per cent of the population, compared to the national average of 20 per cent.
Julie Hotchkiss, the public health consultant who wrote the council report said: "York being an affluent city has a high consumption of alcohol however, it has relatively low levels of alcohol-related hospital admissions and deaths, particularly when compared to more deprived areas.
"Approximately 2.3 per cent of the workforce is employed in bars, and York was recently identified as being the seventh worse local authority for binge drinking. The city experiences higher than average levels of alcohol related violent crimes which are likely to be related to binge drinking and the night time economy."
Public Health England claimed York had an alcohol cost per head of £391, which was lower than the regional (£397), and national (£402) averages, and also showed an average of 5.9 ambulance call outs involved alcohol in the city centre on a Friday night, with 2.2 of those going to York Hospital. There were an average of 1.5 alcohol-related violent crimes, and 3.7 incidents of alcohol-related antisocial behaviour.
In recent months, City of York Council extended its Alcohol Restriction Zone, which made it an offence to drink on the streets anywhere within the city walls, with the council given new powers to enforce the rule.
The council, with Safer York Partnership and North Yorkshire Police has also been involved in the annual summer campaign to help crack down on alcohol-fuelled behaviour across North Yorkshire.
The report recommends Safer York Partnership work with the council's health and wellbeing board to look at ways to improve the situation, with an aim to publish a plan in September 2015, following public consultation.