In Brief

24 January, 2008

Teen efforts go to the mat

Hard-hitting messages printed on beer mats are being used to tackle under-age drinking in Lancashire. Slogans include "Had one too many?", "Avoid mixing different drinks" and "Love a drink, hate a drunk", and the mats have been distributed to drink shops, pubs and clubs in the area. The scheme has been created by Wigan and Leigh Community Safety Partnership to cut anti-social behaviour among teens and also to deter adults from buying alcohol for them.

Under-21 ban shows results

Radcliffe-on-Trent in Nottingham has seen a 65 per cent reduction in alcohol-fuelled crime after off-licences banned under-21s from buying alcohol. The scheme ran from Dec 14 for a four-week period between 4pm and closing time on Fridays and Saturdays, and involved The Co-operative, Spar and Wine Rack. In the four weekends before it began, there were 22 reports of anti-social behaviour compared with eight during the initiative.

Merseyside on the wagon

Merseyside Police are parking a drinks trailer outside drink shops to visibly show the units of alcohol that officers have seized from under-age drinkers. The trailer is part of the forces' anti-social behaviour taskforce, which has been operating in a number of key areas including Norris Green, Stockbridge Village and Seacombe. The trailer is also being driven to schools in the area.

Machete attack in Sheffield

Two hooded men raided a Sheffield off-licence and threatened staff with a machete before demanding money from the till. The men, who had scarves covering their faces, escaped the Thresher store in Nether Edge Road, Nether Edge, with cash on Jan 17. The robbers were Asian, aged in their mid-20s, and are around 5ft 9in tall.

Knife threat at Essex shop

Thieves in Theydon Bois, Essex, fled with 10 packs of 200 cigarettes and £150 in cash after raiding an off-licence on Jan 11. One of the robbers jumped over the counter at the Wine Rack in Forest Drive and threatened a 20-year-old member of staff with a knife. Police said the woman was shaken but not injured.

Help catch a New Year's thief

A £500 reward has been offered for information leading to the conviction of an armed robber who held up a Goring off-licence on New Year's Eve. A shop worker at The Offie in the West Sussex town was threatened by a robber armed with a hunting knife at 4.45pm on Dec 31.

Spirits threat to shop worker

A robber threatened a Bargain Booze worker with a bottle of spirits during a raid on the evening of Jan 20. The robber, who targeted a branch of Bargain Booze in Far Cotton, Northampton, along with an accomplice, escaped with a litre bottle of vodka and a bottle of Jack Daniels. Police are looking for two men, reported to be around 18 years old.

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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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