This year, we have seen a dramatic rise in the numbers of large scale commercial bar crawls taking place in university towns and cities. NUS believes that the companies organising these events degrade the participants, put students’ welfare at risk and lead to antisocial behaviour. These companies typically make large sums of money and then disappear, leaving students’ unions, police and hospitals to pick up the pieces.
Varsity UK – a market leader, organised events for an estimated 350,000 undergraduate students in 45 towns and cities last academic year. Since September there has been a dramatic increase in these numbers, with 20 events having taken place and a further 15 already planned for November. The atmosphere created at these events through including peer pressure and mass purchasing encourages participants to drink far more than they usually might. Whilst claiming not to promote binge drinking, Varsity UK arrange for external medical teams, including private ambulances and paramedics to attend the bar crawls as a matter of course.
Drinkaware and NUS, with facilitation from the Home Office, have worked to develop comprehensive guidance notes to support students' unions and other interested parties in dealing with organised pub and bar crawls in their local area.
You can download the guidance notes here
The partnership has also produced similar guidance for license enforcement officers, which will be distributed to local licensing authorities and all 52 local Police forces in the UK.