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Tonic wine Buckfast 'behind violent crimes'

The tonic wine Buckfast has been mentioned in 5,000 crime reports by Scotland's biggest police force in the last three years, an investigation has revealed.

Almost one in ten of those crimes in the Strathclyde Police area was violent, according to figures obtained by the BBC under Freedom of Information legislation.

During that period Buckfast bottles were used as a weapon 114 times.

Police said the figures suggested there is an association between Buckfast and violence.

The findings are revealed in the programme BBC Scotland Investigates: The Buckfast Code.

During the programme Superintendent Bob Hamilton of Strathclyde Police was asked whether the figures mean that Buckfast can be said to be associated with violence. He replied: "I think it's clear from the figures that there is an association there."

The investigation looked at the ingredients of the drink and how they may affect the behaviour of consumers, potentially making them anxious and aggressive if drunk in large quantities.

Neuroscientist Dr Steven Alexander told the programme there is 281 milligrammes of caffeine in a bottle of Buckfast - as much caffeine as in eight cans of coke.

Asked about the effects of consuming more caffeine than there is in 16 cans of coke, Dr Alexander said: "It's going to have him bouncing around all over the place because the anxiety levels, the adrenalin will be running around. He will certainly be feeling very anxious, very aggressive."

Buckfast is produced by monks in a Devon monastery.

Source: The Belfast Telegraph