Top cop wants open sales ban
Published:  16 May, 2008

Nottinghamshire chief constable says industry makes money out of misery

A senior police officer has called for alcohol to be removed from open sale in shops and only sold over the counter.

Steve Green, the chief constable of Nottinghamshire, accused the drinks industry of "making as much money out of people's miseries as they can" and said supermarkets were selling drink far too cheaply.

Green also called for RTDs to be banned as he believes they bridge the gap between soft drinks and alcohol. He told the BBC: "The industry is still determined to make as much money out of people's miseries as they possibly can and they don't care who suffers as a result.

"The industry is not feeling the pinch at the moment. They have to challenge how they are selling stuff, where they are selling it and how much they are selling it for."

WSTA communications chief Gavin Partington dismissed Green's idea. "The notion of placing all wine behind a counter is completely impractical and goes against the grain of cultivating educated consumer choice," he said.

"Most of the large supermarkets stock between 800 and 1,100 different wines. Separating the wine section behind a counter might have been practical in the days when the range was smaller but would simply not work now.

"The whole pattern of retail development has tended towards offering consumers the widest choice possible. To restrict access to the range of products on sale would effectively curb the choice consumers want and expect."

A report commissioned by the Scottish government, published last year, concluded that the separate siting of alcohol in stores would be "problematic", especially in smaller premises. The report also said the separation of food and alcohol was "negative".

But Scottish

parliament has voted to restrict alcohol displays to a dedicated area by September 2009 and justice minister Kenny MacAskill has challenged retailers to beat that deadline.

MacAskill speaks out - page 13.

Task 25 for Morrisons

Morrisons has launched a Challenge 25 scheme in all 375 of its stores, replacing the Challenge 21 policy it has operated since 2001. It is being referred to internally as Task 25.

Licensed trades director Grant Eastwood said: "No one wants to see under-18s buying alcohol and, although no policy is absolutely guaranteed, we are confident that Task 25 will act as an even greater deterrent."

Checkout staff are wearing badges highlighting the change.

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