David Cameron is reportedly set to target heavy drinkers through a system of “innovation solutions", including so-called “drunk tanks” to detain inebriated people, while some reports suggest he will hint of his support for minimum pricing in the forthcoming Alcohol Strategy. National newspapers this morning say that Cameron will today attack binge drinking as the “scandal of our society” that costs the NHS more than £2.7bn per year, and suggest a series of proposals. Cameron is widely reported to be sympathetic towards minimum pricing, and some reports suggest that he will hint in favour of the move today. However, the proposal has opponents in Government, including Health Secretary Andrew Lansley, while health minister Anne Milton has said she thinks it’s “probably illegal”. The announcements come as the industry awaits publication of the new Alcohol Strategy, due in the next few weeks. It also follows yesterday’s announcement that the Government is to invest £1m funding community schemes to tackle alcohol-related problems. Cameron is quoted as saying: “Every night, in town centres, hospitals and police stations across the country, people have to cope with the consequences of alcohol abuse. And the problem is getting worse. Over the last decade we’ve seen a frightening growth in the number of people – many under-age – who think it’s acceptable for people to get drunk in public in ways that wreck lives, spread fear, and increase crime. “This is one of the scandals of our society and I am determined to deal with it. As figures today show the NHS is having to pick up an ever-growing bill – £2.7bn a year, including £1bn on accident and emergency services alone. That’s money we have to spend because of the reckless behaviour of an irresponsible minority. “Across the country, local hospitals, ambulance crews and the police are rising to the challenge. We must help them to do so and will be setting out how through the forthcoming Alcohol Strategy. Whether it’s the police officers in A&E that have been deployed in some hospitals, the booze buses in Soho and Norwich, or the “drunk tanks” (cells for people who become intoxicated) used abroad, we need innovative solutions to confront the rising tide of unacceptable behaviour.” Cameron said the issue “isn’t just about more rules and regulation”, which will be taken by some to suggest that he still supports voluntary action via the Responsibility Deal on alcohol. “It’s about responsibility and a sense of respect for others,” the Prime Minister said. “This is an area where the drinks industry, supermarkets, pubs and clubs need to work with Government so that responsible drinking becomes a reality and not just a slogan.”