Stores ban superstrength alcohol to cut street drinking

25 February, 2008

More than 25 drinks retailers in Westminster have agreed to take superstrength lager and cider off their shelves as part of a drive to tackle street drinking.

Branches of Threshers, Londis, Tesco and Waitrose in Marylebone, Victoria and Pimlico are among those who have signed up to the voluntary initiative run by Westminster City Council.

In order to cut the problems associated with street drinkers such as drug dealing, begging and street urination, the stores will no longer sell lager and cider with an abv of more than 5.5 per cent such as Carlsberg Special Brew, Tennants Extra and Diamond White.

Westminster councillor Audrey Lewis said: “Cheap, superstrength alcohol is aimed at alcoholics, drug users and some of the most vulnerable and needy members of society. This scheme has drastically reduced the number of street drinkers in these areas, and while it is by no means a panacea, it is a valuable common sense tool local authorities can use to help tackle not just street drinking itself, but also help improve the quality of life for all residents and visitors."

Lewis added that the success of the scheme, which has cut the number of alcohol confiscations from street drinkers by half since its launch last summer, meant it could be rolled out to other areas with similar problems in the future.

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