Drunk Tanks may be coming to a high street near you!

The Association of Chief Police Officers is considering introducing ‘drunk tanks’ to deal with ‘drunks’ who are considered a danger to themselves, these people will then be issued with the bill for the privately run tanks following their release.

The so called ‘drunk tank’ will only be used for people who are drunk and the police consider a danger to themselves.  People are alleged to have committed a crime will still be arrested and dealt with at the police station.  The idea of introducing drunk tanks is so that people are not using up cells at the police station and the police are still fulfilling their role as they have a duty of care to people who cannot stand or walk through alcohol so at the moment the police do not have choice in some situations but to take the person back to the police station.

Some people argue that ‘drunk tanks’ will not tackle the problem of binge drinking but could exacerbate it.  For instance a student on a night out who ends up in a ‘drunk tank’ may find it a show off point to their fellow freshers which in turn may encourage them to end up in one. How about the homeless person that can either spend the night in a ‘drunk tank’ or a cardboard box? The tank may appear more appealing to them.   However some people welcome the idea of freeing up police resources and that cells are kept free, this appears to be more and more of a problem as a lot of smaller police stations are being shut to save money which means less important cell space.

As there is no formal proposal at the moment for the ‘drunk tank’ it is unknown how much the fixed penalty notice will be for spending a night in one or exactly which private sector will run them, the ACPO is in consultation over a proposal to present to the government so a ‘drunk tank’ may be coming to a high street near you in the future!

Should you or somebody that you know find yourselves in a situation where you need representation either at the police station or court, please contact us  at our Leicester office on 0116 2554855 or our Loughborough Office on 01509 610312.