Toggle Main Menu Toggle Search

Open Access padlockePrints

Alcohol screening and brief intervention in police Custody suites: Pilot cluster randomized controlled Trial (AcCePT)

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Michelle Addison, Dr Ruth McGovernORCiD, Dr Frauke Becker, Dr Heather BrownORCiD, Dr Lisa Crowe, Dr Eilish Gilvarry, Denise Howel, Emerita Professor Elaine McCollORCiD, Dr Colin Muirhead, Professor Dorothy Newbury-Birch, Professor Eileen KanerORCiD


Full text for this publication is not currently held within this repository. Alternative links are provided below where available.


Aims: There is a clear association between alcohol use and offending behaviour and significant police time is spent on alcohol-related incidents. This study aimed to test the feasibility of a trial of screening and brief intervention in police custody suites to reduce heavy drinking and re-offending behaviour. Short Summary: We achieved target recruitment and high brief intervention delivery, if this occurred immediately after screening. Low rates of return for counselling and retention at follow-up were challenges for a definitive trial. . Conversely, high consent rates for access to police data, suggested at least some outcomes could be measured remotely.Methods: A three-armed pilot Cluster Randomised Controlled Trial with an embedded qualitative interview-based process evaluation to explore acceptability issues in six police custody suites (north east and south west of England, UK). Interventions included: 1. Screening only (Controls), 2. 10 minutes Brief Advice 3. Brief Advice plus 20 minutes of brief Counselling. Findings: Of 3,330 arrestees approached: 2,228 were eligible for screening (67%) and 720 consented (32%); 386 (54%) scored 8+ on AUDIT; and 205 (53%) were enrolled (79 controls, 65 brief advice and 61 brief counselling). Follow-up rates at 6 and 12 months were 29% and 26% respectively. However, routinely collected re-offending data were obtained for 193 (94%) participants. Indices of deprivation data were calculated for 184 (90%) participants; 37.6% of these resided in the 20% most deprived areas of England. Qualitative data showed that all arrestees reported awareness that participation was voluntary, that the trial was separate from police work, and the majority said trial procedures were acceptable. Conclusion: Despite hitting target recruitment and same-day brief intervention delivery, a future trial of alcohol screening and brief intervention in a police custody setting would only be feasible if routinely collected re-offending and health data were used for outcome measurement. Trial registration: ISRCTN Number: 89291046

Publication metadata

Author(s): Addison M, McGovern R, Angus C, Becker F, Brennan A, Brown H, Coulton S, Crowe L, Gilvarry E, Hickman M, Howel D, McColl E, Muirhead C, Newbury-Birch D, Waqas M, Kaner E

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Alcohol and Alcoholism

Year: 2018

Volume: 53

Issue: 5

Pages: 548-559

Print publication date: 01/09/2018

Online publication date: 08/06/2018

Acceptance date: 23/05/2018

Date deposited: 21/05/2018

ISSN (print): 0735-0414

ISSN (electronic): 1464-3502

Publisher: Oxford University Press


DOI: 10.1093/alcalc/agy039


Altmetrics provided by Altmetric


Funder referenceFunder name
MR/K02325X/1Medical Research Council (MRC)