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Bid to ban super strength booze

Published Thursday, 09 January 2014

Enfield Council and the Metropolitan Police are joining forces in a bid to stop off licences selling cans of super strength alcohol in the borough by the end of January.

The organisations are concerned that the easy availability of cheap super strength booze (usually lager, beer or cider which is stronger than 6.5% alcohol by volume) can pose serious health risks to drinkers, and fuels anti-social behaviour and crime in Enfield’s town centres. The voluntary ban is believed to be one of the first of its type in London.

Premises that fail sign up to the ban and where there are problems associated with alcohol sales could have their premises licence reviewed which would allow the Licensing Authority or the Police, to attach formal conditions to the licence which could include banning the sale of super strength alcoholic drinks from sale from the premises

Enfield Council and the Metropolitan Police are encouraging off licenses across the borough to sign a voluntary undertaking to remove super strength alcohol from sale by 31 January 2014and display posters to advise customers that they do not stock or sell super strength alcohol.

Enfield Council’s Cabinet Member for Community Wellbeing and Public Health, Cllr Christine Hamilton, said: “This type of alcohol is often sold cheaply and is therefore attractive to young and underage drinkers and addicts. 

“We want to make it much more difficult to obtain this particular type of drink in order to deal with some of the problems excessive consumption can cause and we want off licences to play their part and help us achieve the aim of reducing the health risks, anti-social behaviour and crime associated with excessive drinking."

Enfield Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment, Cllr Chris Bond, said: ”If retailers choose not to sign up, that’s entirely up to them, but we’ll take an incredibly dim view of premises which act irresponsibly and we’ll take very strong action against those that are unwilling or unable to behave responsibly.”

A Metropolitan Police Spokesperson said: “This simple, but potentially very effective approach is designed to reduce alcohol-related crime and anti-social behaviour in the borough of Enfield. Partnership working involves everyone - and this includes retailers.

"I urge local off licences to sign up to this voluntary ban. By doing so they will be making a meaningful contribution to improving community safety across the borough.

"In the longer term, the whole community will benefit from such measures; not only will the risks to health be reduced - but in addition we will be creating a safer and more attractive environment - which can be only a positive thing for our local shops, pubs and clubs."

Latest statistics show that around 46,000 residents in Enfield are drinking more and more than 12,500 residents are known to be at higher risk from their drinking behaviour.

The campaign aims to achieve significant and long-lasting benefits for residents by improving the health of drinkers, reducing the number of unnecessary hospital admissions and early deaths caused by excessive drinking. The campaign also aims to reduce street crime and the fear of anti-social behaviour and crime in Enfield. 

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