Home Office announces plans to tackle underage drinking

06 February, 2008

The government is to launch a £10 million ad campaign this summer to raise awareness of alcohol units and warn people of the dangers associated with binge drinking.

The campaign is part of a package of measures it plans to introduce to tackle alcohol related crime and disorder.

Unveiling plans in a speech today, Home Secretary Jacqui Smith said police would be given extra powers to stop under-18s drinking in public and would make parents more accountable for their children’s behaviour if they were caught drinking.

Smith also an independent review would be launched in March to assess standards of responsible drinks retailing.

She said: “There is a lot of good work being done to tackle the damage that alcohol misuse can do to individuals, to the people around them, and to the communities they live in. But I want to go further.

“Government must lead the way and I am determined to use all the powers at my disposal to bring about change. But in order to do this we also need the support of industry, enforcement authorities and communities. We all need to meet our responsibilities to make a difference.”

The news was welcomed by the Wine & Spirit Trade Association who said it was everyone’s responsibility to reduce problem drinking.

WSTA chief executive, Jeremy Beadles, said: “We in the industry are taking steps to reduce problem drinking and we are pleased to be working in partnership with Government to encourage sensible consumption of alcohol.”

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