What’s Your Emergency reveals ‘drinking issues’

Tuesday:999: What’s Your Emergency?; (Channel 4, 9pm)

Monday, 21st June 2021, 5:00 pm

Since 2001, a quarter of British pubs have closed down – more than 13,000 in total.

And that number could be set to increase dramatically over the next few months and years as the hospitality sector struggles to get back on its feet in the wake of the pandemic.

At the same time, the amount of cheap alcohol sold in supermarkets, shops and off-licences has risen, with people consuming more booze at home as a cheap way to combat boredom and relieve stress.


In addition to regular home drinking, there has also been an increase in the practice known as ‘pre-loading’, sometimes called ‘prinking’, in which groups get together to drink before heading out on the town.

Its proven that people who pre-load are more likely to binge drink, and are therefore at greater risk of being involved in fights, accidents or developing alcohol poisoning.

In years gone by, police officers were used to monitoring drinkers in pubs, bars restaurants and hotels in town and city centres.

But now, as we have all been forced to spend more time at home, they have also had to adapt to dealing with more alcohol-related problems in residential areas.

“All the anti-social elements of going out drinking have now come to the home,” says South Yorkshire Police call handler Terry Batchelor

“Drinking at home is pretty lawless in a sense; once they’re behind the closed door, that’s their castle, they can do what they like in their view… it can escalate very quickly.”

This latest episode of the award-winning documentary series reveals the realities of home drinking through the eyes of South Yorkshire Police’s frontline officers, and what happens when parties can go very badly wrong.

From the outset, it becomes clear that the emergency call centre receives many complaints about disruptive drunken behaviour, often in residential districts, which can be difficult places to police.

First up, we see footage of PCs Alice Marshall and Matt Spaven investigating a house party that’s become a concern for neighbours.

Meanwhile, in different area of Sheffield, a family gathering spills out into the street and gets out of control.

PCs Mohammed Alrobaidi and Bernice Gott find themselves at risk at another rowdy house party in a quiet street where they’re outnumbered.

And one afternoon in Rotherham, PCs Pete Ellard and Tabitha Rumney have their hands full when a drunk and disorderly couple begin causing trouble before violently resisting arrest.

In one of the programme’s particularly distressing call-outs, PCs Del Owen and Craig Moore are sent to help the crew of an ambulance attending a party that has gone very badly wrong.

As the crew attempt to help the victim of a vicious assault, they eventually take the difficult decision to withdraw to preserve their own safety.

Finally, and shockingly, officers discover another group of blind-drunk young teenagers.

Their vodka-fuelled night results in a fight over sharing cigarettes, and ends up with a very serious injury which requires a trip to hospital.

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