An area of East Kilbride has some of the worst booze-related crime and health problems in Scotland, a shocking new report has revealed.
The number of drinkers being hospitalised in the Village is higher than most parts of the country.
And the level of alcohol-fuelled crime is also among the highest 10 per cent across the whole of Scotland.
These alarming statistics are part of a detailed report published by Alcohol Focus Scotland.
It also shows that many people are dying through alcoholism across South Lanarkshire.
Addiction workers insisted strong action needs to be taken to tackle the booze blight.
Liam Purdie, chairman of the South Lanarkshire Alcohol Drug Partnership (ADP), said: “Alcohol misuse has a significant impact on the health and wellbeing of our population, especially those living in our most deprived communities where the alcohol-related death rate is five times that of the least deprived 20 per cent.”
The report, titled ‘Alcohol Outlet Availability and Harm In South Lanarkshire’, looks closely at the number of supermarkets, pubs and off-licences selling booze in communities and how this is linked to death, crime and harm rates.
East Kilbride Village falls into the top 10 per cent in Scotland for crime and hospitalisations due to alcohol abuse in 2016.
As many as 553 people were admitted to hospital that year due to alcohol misuse and the number of recorded crimes of violence, sexual offences, domestic housebreaking, vandalism, drugs offences and common assault was 1053 per 10,000 population.
Meanwhile, the area, which also takes in part of East Mains, has as many as 25 places to be served alcohol within a one-kilometre radius.
This ‘outlet density rank’ is very high, while the surrounding area of Strathaven is average, as shown by the coloured map.
Districts like Greenhills, St Leonards and Calderwood in East Kilbride have a low number of off-licences and pubs compared to the Scottish average.
Places with a high number of alcohol outlets generally correlate with the highest incidences of crime and hospitalisations due to drinking.
The Murray, Greenhills, East Mains and West Mains had 1246 alcohol-related crimes per 10,000 population, while 2000 people were hospitalised due to alcohol abuse.
Despite there being a low density of licensed premises in Greenhills – two outlets in under a one-mile radius – 584 locals were admitted to hospital because of drink.
And there were 285 alcohol-fuelled crimes in Greenhills per 10,000 people.
In Avondale, Strathaven South had the most hospital admissions for alcohol abuse and drink-related crime at 395 and 162 per 10,000 population respectively.
Alcohol Focus Scotland and the Centre for Research on Environment, Society and Health (CRESH) carried out in-depth research and collated figures for 2016 for the whole of Scotland.
They teamed up to investigate whether alcohol-related health harm and crime rates across Scotland were linked to the local availability of alcohol outlets.
Their findings for South Lanarkshire were that alcohol-related deaths in neighbourhoods with the most off-sales outlets were 80 per cent higher than those with the least.
Alcohol-related hospitalisation rates in the communities with most alcohol outlets were double those in neighbourhoods with the least.
Crime rates in the neighbourhoods with most places selling alcohol were 3.3 times higher than in neighbourhoods with the least.