Retailers join councils to cut under-age alcohol sales

07 July, 2008

A scheme designed to break down barriers between law enforcement agencies and retailers looking to reduce under-age drinks sales is being rolled out across the UK.

The Community Alcohol Partnership has been piloted in the Cambridgeshire town of St Neots and is now being launched in Cambridge city centre. It will be extended to Reading, Kent and North Yorkshire over the next few months.

The scheme, centred around better enforcement and improved education for young people, has been held up as a new way to combat under-age sales.

It has contributed towards a “significant decrease in anti-social behaviour and a substantial reduction in the numbers of under-18 found in possession of alcohol”, said the Retail of Alcohol Standards Group (RASG) which supports the programme.

The St Neots pilot saw trading standards officers working shifts in Spar branches to gain an understanding of the issues faced by retailers.

Already, 20 Cambridge retailers have signed up to join the scheme.

RASG chairman Nick Grant said: “The success of the St Neots scheme shows what can be achieved when retailers, local government agencies and schools work together to enforce the law.”

RASG was formed by high street retailers in 2005, to share best practice and develop policies to reduce under-age sales.

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