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North West tops alcohol abuse poll

The North West has topped a league table of places most affected by excessive drinking, a new report has revealed.

Manchester has the highest number of alcohol-related incidents across various factors, ranging from hospital admissions caused by drinking to alcohol-fuelled crime.

The city is followed by Salford, Liverpool, Middlesbrough and Rochdale. Other areas mentioned include Hammersmith and Fulham in London, Hull, Halton, Tameside and Oldham.

Overall, seven out of the top 10 areas in England with the greatest level of harm in 2006/07 were in the North West.

Wokingham local authority area had the lowest level of harm in the country, followed by Mid Bedfordshire, Three Rivers in Hertfordshire, Castle Point in Essex and North Kesteven in Lincolnshire.

Dr Karen Tocque, director of science and strategy for the North West Public Health Observatory, which carried out the study, said: "For the first time, local communities can see the effect that alcohol has been having over a four or five year period and these trends may come as a bit of a surprise."

Copyright © Press Association 2008

North West Public Health Observatory