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'Increasing alcohol price can slow down serious violence'

Posted on Apr 23 2014 | IANS

London, April 23 : Increasing alcohol prices can dramatically cut down serious violence, a pioneering research shows.

Rising alcohol price and decline in binge drinking is behind a dramatic 12 percent fall in the number of people injured in serious violence across England and Wales last year.

"Binge drinking has become less frequent. After decades in which alcohol has become more affordable, since 2008, it has become less affordable. For people most prone to involvement in violence - those aged 18 to 30 - falls in disposable income are probably an important factor," professor Jonathan Shepherd from Cardiff University was quoted as saying.

According to researchers, an estimated 234,509 people sought treatment at hospital accident and emergency departments across England and Wales in 2013 - 32,780 fewer than in 2012.

According to Shepherd, the figures showed there had been a sustained fall in levels of serious violence in every year since 2001, apart from a seven percent rise in 2008.

Violence is falling in many western countries and changes in alcohol habits was a probable explanation, he added.

The latest findings are likely to fuel the debate over the introduction of a statutory minimum unit price for alcohol, said a Guardian report.

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