In Brief

23 August, 2007

MP suggests ID to youngsters

Birmingham Northfield MP Richard Burden has written to all 18-year-olds on the electoral roll in his constituency reminding them to carry ID when going to buy alcohol or tobacco. The letters also enclose a CitizenCard application form. Burden said: "I understand how difficult a No ID, No Sale policy can be to implement, and I welcome the opportunity for all youngsters here in Northfield to get a CitizenCard. This will make their lives easier and in turn will help shop staff to stay within the law."

Over 21 policy

Drinks retailers in Thirsk, North Yorkshire, have agreed not to sell alcohol to under-21s during the summer holidays to help police in the area deal with under-age drinking. Shops involved have been given posters to display in their windows telling customers of the temporary change. Sgt Frances Hannan said the move had been suggested because young people who had just turned 18 were often buying alcohol for friends who were under-age.

Off-licence in TV appeal

BBC programme Crimewatch has shown a reconstruction of an attempted robbery at an off-licence in a bid to bring forward witnesses. The incident at Threshers in Guildford Road, Lightwater, on July 12 led to a 49-year-old member of staff needing treatment for cuts when he was attacked because he failed to hand over cash. DC Andy Reilly, of Surrey Police, said: "This was a nasty attack and we are determined to find the offender and bring him to justice."

Whisky hijacked

Police are hunting a gang of professional hijackers who stole £50,000-worth of Grant's Whisky from a truck parked overnight in a lay-by in Lincolnshire. The 5,000 bottle consignment was being shipped from the distillery in Lanarkshire, Scotland, to Poland. The whisky was packaged in 100 cases of 70cl bottles and 700 cases of 1-litre bottles. Writing on the labels is in Polish and the serial code 07/6597 is laser-etched on each bottle.

Link in Belfast robberies

Belfast police have reported that two armed robberies in which flammable liquid was poured over staff may be linked. The first happened on Aug 19 when two men entered a bookmakers on Ravenhill Avenue armed with a hammer. After demanding money the pair doused the premises and staff in fuel, which could have been petrol. Shortly afterwards two men armed with a knife and a hammer threatened staff at an off-licence in Agincourt Avenue.

Luton drinks shop row

An proposal to open an off-licence in Westway, Luton, has met with objections from 300 people. The residents signed a petition to protest against plans for the shop, which was planned to open every day from 7.30am-10.30pm. Residents and other shopkeepers feared a worsening in antisocial behaviour from gangs if the shop were to get the go-ahead.

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English wine: a happy harvest for Christmas

All across England and Wales, vineyards are being harvested. Down winding country lanes come armies of welly-wearing conscripts wielding secateurs and buckets, ready to reap the rewards of our vines. Happily they come, their cheeks ruddy with pride. Half an hour later they’re crawling over muddy clods with lacerated hands, drenched in claggy juice and cold sweat, as if ploughing through an endurance race.

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