Public Sector: Binge drinking priority for new Home Office chief

The Home Office has confirmed it will be seeking PR support for a major campaign to fight binge drinking to be launched this summer.

The campaign is expected to be a key focus for new Home Office director of comms Yasmin Diamond, who started her role on Wednesday.

Diamond joins the Home Office from maternity leave, before which she was the top communicator at the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).

No details have yet been given about what the campaign will entail, but the Home Office has said that it will be seeking tenders from agencies for the work.

In her first big speech since becoming Home Secretary, Jacqui Smith focused on underage and binge drinking.

Speaking on 6 February, she said: 'We have now reached a worrying tipping point where more 13-year-olds have drunk alcohol than have not. This is clearly a cause for concern.'

Smith criticised young adult binge drinkers with an 'appetite for destruction', fighting on the streets and vandalism. She said the Government is unlikely to reverse the 24-hour licensing laws.

The PR campaign will take place alongside a £10m advertising campaign, which will illustrate the dangers of binge drinking and raise awareness of recommended alcohol intake levels.

This activity will follow a new £875,000 enforcement campaign during this month's half-term to confiscate alcohol from under-18s drinking in public.

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