To think that drunk tanks are a good idea?

(129 Posts)
TheBadCat Wed 18-Sep-13 12:19:24

The idea is that police could hand over drunks to private companies, where they would be held in rooms and supervised, then charged the next day for the cost of their care.

Link to bbc article

The article mainly focuses on how this might free up police resources, but my sister works in a&e and so much of her job is babysitting people who have nothing wrong with them other than having drunk too much. This mostly involves cleaning up vomit and piss, no real nursing skills required.

I suspect that if people were vomitting the police would still have to take them to a&e, but aibu to think that most members of the public would be behind the introduction of this type of scheme?

PeterParkerSays Wed 18-Sep-13 12:23:39

I thought it sounded a good idea when I heard it on the radio, but they will expect drunks to pay for their "bed and board" before they leave in the morning. What will they do if someone doesn't have the money to pay? Keep them there?

tywysogesgymraeg Wed 18-Sep-13 12:26:03

I think it's a great idea. Presumably people would be able to pay costs off in installments if they can't pay all at once.

pigletmania Wed 18-Sep-13 12:27:33

Good idea. Bill them like any other bill

pigletmania Wed 18-Sep-13 12:29:04

It's horrid how they treat the frontline staff, they have to take responsibility for their actions!

limitedperiodonly Wed 18-Sep-13 12:30:24

Probably, if they were properly looked after.

However, I can see private companies unloading drunks put in their care back onto the police or into A&E, so I'm not sure how much money it would save the taxpayer.

The private companies would still get their large contracts paid, even if like SERCO or G4S their service is often not the best value for money.

ACPO surely know this and I suspect they are just politicking.

Doodledumdums Wed 18-Sep-13 12:30:54

Excellent idea!

pigletmania Wed 18-Sep-13 12:32:34

Or bill them for their nights stay in hospital

pigletmania Wed 18-Sep-13 12:33:14

And make them dean up their piss and vomit in the street

Doodledumdums Wed 18-Sep-13 12:33:49

They are talking about them on Loose Women!

TheBadCat Wed 18-Sep-13 12:34:29

I did wonder that too re the money. But I think, going purely on hearsay from dsis, that most drunks, certainly the ones that demand a lot of attention, are students and professionals, not homeless people or "down and outs" who would struggle to pay.

I think there is a strong argument for tackling anti social drinking through other measures, but it seems to me that in the meantime, drunk tanks could be useful to the police and nhs.

Rooners Wed 18-Sep-13 12:36:32

Haven't read it but imo the whole culture is geared towards this kind of drinking, so cleaning up the results of it isn't the place to start.

Putting limits on alcohol availability and affordability perhaps - stopping pubs opening late - you have the entire student body for a start, to somehow convince not to behave in this way.

It's cultural. It's hideous but that's what we have made with our society.

Rooners Wed 18-Sep-13 12:37:28

Or we could make like germany and have coffee shops open till 2am instead of just places selling alcohol.

Berlin at night isn't full of shitheads, it's full of students being interesting and culturally active. It's amazing.

WMittens Wed 18-Sep-13 12:38:17

It sounds just like the crap we went through with private clamping/parking companies, except imprisoning people instead of cars. Sounds far too open to abuse.

pigletmania Wed 18-Sep-13 12:40:20

Rooners they are so called adults who have a choice like the rest of us. They are not forced to drink it with a gun to their head! They as people have to take responsibility for their actions

pigletmania Wed 18-Sep-13 12:41:12

Just ecause it's available des not mean you have to take it!

deliakate Wed 18-Sep-13 12:41:53

It's a good idea for excessive drinkers at weekends/ nights out. But alcohol abuse, drug abuse and mental illness are often closely linked with criminality/anti social behaviour. It's a very complicated area and I do worry about people not being assessed or treated by medics/psych services if they need it.

limitedperiodonly Wed 18-Sep-13 12:45:50

Private companies would probably let them go without payment in the morning because keeping them in would cost more money and more importantly, they'd have to have powers of arrest.

Even if we gave private companies those powers, which I don't think is a good idea and I suspect the police don't either, they'd have to release people on bail to appear in court or produce them to a court.

That would cost the taxpayer a lot of money because I can't see a private company doing that for nothing.

ACPO and the Police Federation know this, or they should do.

Perhaps we can revive that other brilliant wheeze about marching anti-social people to cashpoints. That was ridiculed before being quietly dropped as unworkable populism.

softlysoftly Wed 18-Sep-13 12:46:38

Yep I think it's a good idea but I would also say the private company's have to pay for 1 locum or nurse to be on duty to decide if/when people should be sent to a&e. To be included in the rent obviously.

Oh and if they can afford to go out and get ratarsed they can afford to pay the consequences. No sympathy.

deliakate Wed 18-Sep-13 12:46:48

Oh, and you can invoice them, they chase up through the courts if necessary the unpaid debts. Same as any bill.

LadyBigtoes Wed 18-Sep-13 12:49:31

It sounds appealing at first but what would happen is sooner or later someone would die. They might have died anyway from hypothermia from crashing out in their garden in January, or from choking on their vomit, but it could well also happen from rough treatment by guards or being ignored when they were dangerously ill. Then there would be uproar (rightly IMO) about private companies herding pissed people for a profit.

Also what about vulnerable people being herded in with drunk, abusive, possibly violent other people? If you are 18, under peer pressure to drink and have little understanding of just how powerful some drinks are (it happened to me in my youth) you could end up very vulnerable and needing help. The drinking culture is to blame, but that doesn't mean all individuals should be treated like dirt.

A more positive system might work e.g if you are drunk and causing a nuisance you are rounded up, taken to a kind of cheapo A&E substitute (safe bed, supervision, doctor on call) and then have to pay a fine/do community service helping clean up after the next batch/ and/or attend an education session on alcohol.

limitedperiodonly Wed 18-Sep-13 12:49:51

Oh, and you can invoice them, they chase up through the courts if necessary the unpaid debts. Same as any bill

Because everyone knows the court system costs nothing. As do other penalties such as community service and prison.

softlysoftly Wed 18-Sep-13 12:50:29

limited a locum on duty would mean mh issues would get picked up and referred, and if the debt was private so should chasing it through the small claims courts besame as parking fines.

We have to spend ££££ on police and nhs to cover this anyway so at least it removes a bit of pressure.

We should also look at why we have this culture and how to fix it. I honestly honestly have no opinion for once on how this can be achieved though.

GobbySadcase Wed 18-Sep-13 12:53:41

YABU.
The safety of those in custody would not be a priority to private enterprise. Their priority will be ££££££. What if they lock up a seriously ill person with diabetes or epilepsy mistaking their symptoms for drunkenness?

Plus being drunk in itself isn't illegal. Causing bother whilst drunk is though...

deliakate Wed 18-Sep-13 12:54:15

Good analogy with parking fines. The council make so much £ on those. It is worth chasing unpaid debts.
It should not be for under 18s tho.

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