Durham University announce plans to tackle drinking culture after tragic river deaths

Police from the Marine Unit were called in for the grim task of removing a body discovered in the River Wear at Durham below Framwellgate Bridge.
Police from the Marine Unit were called in for the grim task of removing a body discovered in the River Wear at Durham below Framwellgate Bridge.
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UNIVERSITY bosses have launched an action plan to tackle the culture of drinking to excess among its students.

Education leaders in Durham have announced the proposals in a bid to keep its undergraduates safe, with the efforts revealed just weeks after the body of a third student was pulled from the River Wear a fortnight ago.

Euan Coulthard, 19, went missing after a night out on Wednesday, January 14, and was found near to Framwelgate Bridge.

The bodies of students Sope Peters, 20, and Luke Pearce, 19, were also recovered from the river after nights out in the city.

The plan has been announced as Durham Students’ Union prepares to launch a £50,000 campaign, funded by Durham County Council, to promote good behaviour when drinking.

Professor Ray Hudson, acting Vice-Chancellor of the university, said: “Durham University’s senior management is treating the matters of student safety and excessive alcohol consumption with the utmost seriousness.
“Addressing the alcohol culture which has developed in our society as a whole will involve a major shift in attitudes.”

As part of efforts, the university and Durham Students’ Union will work with the City Safety Group, which brings together the university, Durham Cathedral, the council, students’ union and police.

Plans include a night time scheme backed by student volunteers and community groups, a student safety campaign and a new arrangement with the city’s taxi operators to help at risk students get home.

The National Union of Students’ Alcohol Impact will be monitored with a series of rules in place within the university’s bars to reduce risk, with welfare help available.