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Alcohol Hate Stats Spark Charity Campaign

Nil by Mouth has launched a new campaign aimed at raising awareness of the link between alcohol and hate crime in Scotland.

The charity has obtained statistics that show a quarter of all hate crimes involve alcohol with the figure raising to nearly 40% when it comes to religiously aggravated offences.

It is now calling on pubs to offer training to staff and support to customers who are bearing the brunt of the problem and has launched its ‘Cheers to Change’ campaign encouraging drinkers and publicans to think about the possible consequences of such behavior on a night out and to consider how they use their influence to cut the alarming rates of alcohol fueled arrests.

The campaign was devised by  Euan Telfer, Connor Johnston and Callum Weatherall who won the 2023 Pitch Perfect competition ran in conjunction with City of Glasgow College. The trio visited Strathclyde Students Union to launch the campaign.

The students join Dave Scott to launch the campaign.

Nil by Mouth is now aiming to engage with licensed premises across Glasgow asking them to display promotional material linked to the campaign and are offering free training for staff to help them identify and challenge behavior when required. The figures have been obtained from the Scottish Government's latest published in depth analysis of hate crime in Scotland and show that religiously aggravated crimes are the most likely to involve alcohol. 

Euan Telfer said:

Everyone knows Glaswegians love a night out, so we aren’t wanting to lecture people about alcohol or be preachy, but we want to create an opportunity to talk to them as adults and ask them to consider the impact of alcohol on their behaviour or that of others around them. People should feel that they are safe to go out for a drink without the worry of getting aggravation based on who they are. At the Union, we had a drink with people and listened to their experiences in a social setting and it can actually be an effective environment to reach people. Change is best created when we talk to, not at, people.’

Nil by Mouth Director Dave Scott said: 

Over the years I’ve observed numerous court cases for religiously aggravated behaviour where the defendant and their legal team have tried to use the fact they had consumed alcohol as some sort of rationale for their actions. This is never an excuse, and the courts certainly don’t accept it as one. Football certainly has its problems with this issue but its also important we stress that it’s not a solely football problem – the majority of these arrests aren’t linked to the sport. That’s why it's important we use campaigns like this to get the message across to people that too much alcohol can impair our judgement and cause us to behave in ways that are threatening toward others. Through our ‘Beyond Religion & Belief’ workplace programme we can offer free training to pubs and clubs across Scotland regarding these issues and we hope that by working with both punter and publican we can help address what these statistics show is a very real problem. Hatred isn't inevitable and its vital as a society we do all we can to address it both through legislation but just a importunely through taking collective and individual responsibility.' 


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