BINGE DRINKING BATTLE:Pupils given a sobering talk

Have your say

CITY pupils were given a sobering lesson on the dangers of binge drinking, alcohol-fuelled violence and drugs.

CITY pupils were given a sobering lesson on the dangers of binge drinking, alcohol-fuelled violence and drugs.Del Singh, owner of The Park nightclub in Park Road, Peterborough, and chairman of Peterborough Centre Safe (PCS), drew on his first-hand experience of the leisure industry to educate Orton Longueville sixth-formers about the excesses of booze.

Mr Singh (43) said: "It went really well. The children were alert and asked lots of sensible questions.

"The message I wanted to get across was that drinking is a rite of passage. Alcohol can make for a pleasant night, if it's done in a controlled environment.

"I didn't want to beat them with a stick and say they should be tee-total forever. It was to make them see that it shouldn't be a rush to drink fast and that they should know their limits."

Mr Singh laid out the consequences of binge drinking in unflinching detail and described stark, real-life scenarios to drive home the message that being drunk could often leave people susceptible to attacks.

He adopted more of a hardline stance against drugs, holding up high-profile addicts such as singer Pete Doherty and the late Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain as examples of the ravages drugs can wreak on people's lives.

Mr Singh said: "With each bottle of alcohol, you know how strong it is because there is a label on it, but with a pill or powder, it could be anything, and could kill you."

PCS works to keep the city centre a safe place to socialise and links up pubs and clubs with the police and the city council's CCTV control room in a bid to reduce drink-related crime.

It is estimated that 8,000 drinkers are out in the city centre on a busy Saturday night, and fewer than one per cent cause problems for police.

However, binge drinking accounts for 40 per cent of violent crime, 78 per cent of assaults and 88 per cent of criminal damage.

A recent survey by Drinksense showed that almost everyone brought into the Peterborough District Hospital's casualty department suffering from booze-related accidents were young women.

The presentation was followed by a feedback session, where the youngsters could quiz Mr Singh. He said: "They did ask about trouble in the city centre.

"I couldn't deny that, but stressed that they should be big enough to walk away from any problems and not get caught up in violence."