London: Police chiefs on Wednesday launched a scathing attack on David Cameron's plans to tackle binge drinking, branding them "dangerous" and "unhelpful".
The Police Federation also warned that forces did not have enough resources to implement the Prime Minister's crackdown.
Cameron on Wednesday pledged to tackle the growing "scandal" of alcohol-fuelled disorders during a visit to a hospital in Newcastle. He confirmed the Government was considering plans to introduce minimum pricing for alcohol and give police more powers to tackle violence and disorder.
Drunk tanks, booze buses
The crackdown includes plans for "drunk tanks" — cells where those deemed incapable of walking home would be sent by police to sleep it off — and "booze buses", which pick up revellers and take them to cells. Other proposals include deploying more police to accident and emergency wards to prevent drunken violence.
However, the Police Federation warned that it was already struggling to cope with 20 per cent cuts to budgets.
Paul McKeever, chairman of the Police Federation of England and Wales, said: "The Prime Minister's suggestion of putting more police on patrol in hospitals to help deal with problems of drunken and anti-social behaviour would be laudable if the police service wasn't struggling to meet the current workload. We simply do not, and will not, have the police officers or the resources."
McKeever said plans to tackle alcohol purely from a health perspective without considering the implications on other public services were "unhelpful and likely to fail".