Crackdown on cheap, super strength booze cuts drinking crime by half in pilot programme
Banning sales of super strength lager and cider has led to a 50% reduction in reports of anti social behaviour. The campaign launched in Ipswich, Suffolk six months ago has proved so successful it is expected to form a blueprint for cities fighting to crack down on street drinking and alcohol related crime across the country.
Two thirds of the town’s 122 licensed retailers voluntarily backed the scheme by removing strong lager and cider from shelves. These included the Co-op, Tesco, Waitrose, Sainsbury’s and Aldi.
As a result, reports of concern about street drinking and related anti social behaviour dropped from 191 between March and September to 94 during the same period the following year.
Tim Newcomb, Assistant Chief Constable of Suffolk Police said: “We wanted to reduce the number of stores selling these products, therefore limiting the availability of these drinks to those who are vulnerable, and to reduce the amount of crime and anti social behaviour occurring in and around off-licensed premises in the town.
“The support we have received from independent and national retailers has been fantastic, and we have found that many have shared our views that removing these products will have a beneficial effect on our communities.”
Simon Stephens, Director of Casework at Addictions UK, said: “Banning cheap alcohol may lead to less anti social behaviour but this can only be a part of the UK alcohol strategy. People with a pathological dependency on alcohol require treatment to help them overcome their addiction.”
This story is covered in more depth by an article in the Daily Telegraph.
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