Custody 'not answer' to drinking disorder says police Supt

A senior police officer has challenged a leading doctor's call for police to crack down on binge-drinking to stop medical staff being distracted by disorderly drunks.

Dr Clifford Mann, president of the College of Emergency Medicine, said A&E staff had to deal with disorderly patients on a "daily" basis.

He said a "softer approach" adopted by police "doesn't seem to be working".

South West Supt Chris Singer tweeted that "cells are not the answer".

Dr Mann said the number of people arriving at A&E units while drunk was increasing year-on-year. He said police could deal with anti-social drunkenness with increased arrests, convictions and fines.

But Supt Singer, of Devon and Cornwall Police, tweeted that there was "no evidence base to the conclusions [of Dr Mann] here at all; police cells are not the answer to a social problem".

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