As more and more women take to binge drinking, the UK police are reaching out to them - not for counselling, but to protect them from falling over on high-heels. Yes the drunken women are to be issued with free thongs by the police.
Officers will distribute the footwear outside nightclubs as part of a $70,000 publicly funded scheme to prevent "alcohol-related harm".
AdvertisementThe move has been prompted by fears that women wearing stilettos or similar footwear could twist or sprain an ankle on the way home after a night out.
Officials claim female revellers risk cutting the soles of their feet by walking home barefoot.
The thongs, called "flip-flops" in Britain, will be given to anyone whose own footwear is "uncomfortable, inappropriate or soiled" and will be paid for using a Government grant.
The scheme will begin next month in the centre of Torquay, Devon, a popular destination for hen and buck parties.
Officers will carry bags of the blue, unisex thongs on their rounds and will hand them to anyone who looks a little unsteady on their feet.
The rubber shoes, which carry printed messages about safe drinking and alcohol limits, will also be available free of charge from a "safe bus."
Insp Adrian Leisk, from Safer Communities Torbay, said: "Sometimes people get drunk and you see them carrying (inappropriate) footwear."
Some campaigners have branded the initiative a waste of money and police time.
Matthew Elliott, chief executive of the TaxPayers' Alliance, said: "People don't pay their taxes for drunk women to get free flip-flops."