New legislation targets access to alcohol

15 May, 2008

Tightening access to alcohol will be a central plank of new legislation devised to tackle anti-social behaviour.

New measures to reduce alcohol-related crime are set to be included in a Policing and Crime Reduction Bill, which was announced by Prime Minister Gordon Brown on Wednesday as part of the government’s draft legislative plans.

Under the bill, the government is expected to propose tougher sanctions against retailers found selling alcohol to under-18s. Authorities’ may be given more power annul a shop’s licence.

The move is another step towards the government’s goal of a comprehensive alcohol strategy for England.

Home secretary Jacqui Smith said she was keen for the bill to “build on work already being done to combat crime and reduce binge and under-age drinking."

A green paper on the bill will be published for consultation later this month.

Drinks industry and retail representatives believe measures already in place are working. “Alcohol-related crime is reducing,” a spokesperson for the Association of Convenience Stores told OLN recently.

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