A NEW approach is being taken to get to the root of booze abuse.
The new Alcohol Harm Reduction Unit has been launched by Durham Constabulary.
It is running from Annand House in Meadowfield, on the outskirts of Durham City.
It brings together two licensing units which had previously covered the north and south of the county, with the aim of reducing the impact of alcohol-related incidents, improving how it manages, plans and controls licensing, and improving intelligence gathering and information sharing.
It will also target offenders who cause drink-related crime.
New figures show alcohol is related to 32 per cent of all violent crime, 42 per cent of domestic assaults and 20 per cent of antisocial behaviour in County Durham.
The unit is linked with licensing, trading standards, environmental protection and food hygiene departments of Durham County Council.
It is headed by an inspector, and included a sergeant, alcohol harm reduction officer and Police Community Support Officers.
Superintendent Ivan Wood said: “This will be a problem-solving approach to tackling alcohol harm.
“We want to identify potential issues at an early stage and intervene before they get the chance to grow and have a major impact on our communities.”