Shops agree to cheap super-strength booze crackdown
Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Communities
Anger at 'irresponsible' supermarkets as beer prices slashed
More than 40 shops and off-licences across the London borough of Islington have agreed to stop selling cheap super-strength booze.
Over the last six months, Islington Council and Islington police have paid over 250 joint visits to off-licences in targeted areas where anti-social drinking has been reported as a problem.
The council has asked shop keepers to voluntarily reduce the availability of lager or cider over 6.5% or more.
And over 65% of the shops and off-licences in the targeted areas have agreed to stop selling cheap super-strength booze.
The 'reducing the strength' project has been especially successful in Spa Fields and Exmouth Market - where all the targeted off-licences have agreed to take part.
It has also been successful in King's Cross, Finsbury Park station and in the Elthorne Park area, with most outlets agreeing to take part.
Cllr Paul Convery, the council's executive member for community safety, said: "Cheap super-strength beer and cider fuels a lot of anti-social behaviour and violence that blights communities.
"I'm pleased that so many local off-licences have taken cheap super-strength drink off their shelves and urge others to follow their example, to make Islington's town centres and parks a better place for everyone."
One of the off-licences that has stopped selling super-strength alcohol is Parmar News in Pentonville Road.
Haviz Mohamed Nadin, store proprietor, said: "I am extremely pleased with the scheme. It has made life easier for staff as they no longer have to serve street drinkers."
Supt Steve Deehan, of Islington Police, said: "This is a welcome initiative by the local authority and the police licensing team, working in partnership with the shopkeepers to further the reduction of crime and antisocial behaviour linked to alcohol in our local communities."
The "reducing the strength" team will now be talking to businesses in other targeted areas such as Nag's Head, where fewer off-licences have signed up.