1 = What?

The deployment of the Neighbourhood Empowerment Violence Reduction Team in McCauley initiated a great deal of interest, and conversation around the issue of high percentage, large volume alcohol.

This is an extremely complex matter. It is, after all, addiction that is fueling much of the concern.

From what we’ve seen during our time working in the community, the type of alcohol is not as much of an issue as the lack of awareness/understanding of the amount of alcohol being consumed. Although most people are aware that some products are high in alcohol, and come in large quantities, there lacks an understanding of just how potent they can be. 

Read the McCauley Interview Results

We’ve introduced an education campaign that intends to fill that gap by providing information to help merchants, consumers and the public at large make better informed decisions concerning what they’re selling and consuming.

The ‘1 = What?’ campaign is built on a simple, but powerful message of converting products to ‘Standard Units of Alcohol’. For instance, a 40 oz bottle at 10.1% alcohol is not just one big beer, it’s ‘1=7’ (i.e. equal to 7 regular beers).  We have seen interest and surprise from community members, and even merchants, when informed of these equivalencies.

In a clear and unambiguous manner, the campaign aims to highlight the conversion in McCauley’s liquor stores. Through posters, window clings and handbills, ‘1 = What?’ will inform all parties of what exactly is being sold and consumed.

The conversion requires a bit of work – but from our perspective, it is an integral piece of information. Much in the same way that nutritional information is listed on food to inform healthier eating; labelling the units of alcohol equivalents may lead to better informed decisions concerning what’s being sold and consumed.

Three of the four liquor stores in McCauley will be voluntary participating in the
‘1 = What?’ campaign. These merchants recognize the issues associated with over service/consumption and have stated that they want to work with us towards a safer community.

The campaign kicks off February 17, in McCauley. Its success will be measured by Edmonton Police Service statistics, over-service enforcement in 2012 and community observations and feedback.

Listen to my interview on 1 = What? on Edmonton this Week

Interested in the results of ‘1 = What?’ and NET in general? You can now follow both Cst. Chapman Lee and me on Twitter for real time updates and information!

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About the Author
Kris Andreychuk
Kris Andreychuk is a social worker with the City of Edmonton and a supervisor with the Neighbourhood Empowerment Team. These teams have played an integral role in community policing and crime prevention in Edmonton for the past 8 years and are the result of a four way partnership with the City, EPS, The Family Centre and the United Way.
4 Comments
  1. Erika Elves
    5 years ago

    This is an insightful article. The 1=What? campaign addresses the root of the problem – not alcohol use, but alcohol abuse. It would be great if this initiative would spread to other parts of the city!

  2. […] the kick-off of the 1=What? education campaign, created to inform consumers and retailers of alcohol equivalencies, the Neighbourhood Empowerment […]

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