Off-licences asked not to serve under-21s

Police in Ashby-de-la-Zouch, Leicestershire, have asked all off-licences in the town centre not to sell alcohol to anyone under 21, in a bid to stop drinks getting into the hands of under-age drinkers.

Inspector Chris Brown, commander of North West Leicestershire local policing unit, said:”Ashby town centre continues to suffer from minor crime and anti-social behaviour caused by a minority of young people who are under the influence of alcohol.

“We believe that in some cases young people under the age of 18 are getting older friends to purchase alcohol on their behalf.

“In order to prevent this, we have written to off-licences to ask them to refuse to sell alcohol to customers who cannot prove they are over the age of 21. This is for a trial period on Friday and Saturday nights only and will be evaluated to see if it has a positive impact on under-age drinking and associated issues of anti-social behaviour.”

Police stressed that the arrangement was voluntary. A spokeswoman told OLN that if off-licences refused to take part it would not affect future licence applications.

Brown said: “This is a voluntary arrangement. However we hope that off-licences will support the police and the licensing objectives which are to prevent crime and disorder, promote public safety, prevent nuisance and protect children from harm.”

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