Shops must sell alcohol responsibly

Street drinking raises serious concerns for many.
Street drinking raises serious concerns for many.
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CABINET CALL: By South Holland District Council Portfolio Holder for Regulatory Services, Malcolm Chandler

Most readers will be aware that this week is Alcohol Awareness Week. The national initiative is designed to tackle street drinking, alcohol-associated anti-social behaviour and the serious issues that alcohol misuse is having.

The positive effects of alcohol are well known and mankind has found the benefits of a social drink since the beginning of time.

However, in the 21st century we have a changing culture and approach, with many people wanting to escape their everyday concerns by drinking to excess.

The issue of street drinking raises serious concerns for many citizens.

South Holland District Council introduced the Designated Public Place Order (DPPO) in Spalding which gave the police powers to seize alcohol from those drinking in the streets.

A multi-agency partnership group looked at the availability of alcohol within the DPPO. However, there was not enough legal evidence to support introducing a Cumulative Impact policy, which enables the control of new licence applications.

In light of this, it is vitally important that those retailers who sell alcoholic drinks do so legally and responsibly.

Last week saw the launch of the Safer Spalding campaign. The project has been an important part of my agenda for over 12 months and has been developed in partnership with Lincolnshire Trading Standards, Police, the Chamber of Trade, and other agencies.

Following consultation with other authorities, police forces and retailers, the campaign will offer help to smaller drinks retailers who may not have the benefits of training and support available to the national retailers.

Along with asking retailers to be aware of their legal responsibilities, the campaign’s code seeks to offer guidance on shop presentation, staff training, merchandising and security matters.

All drinks retailers within the DPPO have been provided with a copy of the code and with a guidance folder from the Trading Standards team which will allow them to keep their staff up to speed with training and to record the events of anti-social activity within the shops.

Those members of the Chamber of Trade Shopwatch scheme are able to communicate relevant information with other Shopwatch retailers with the Shopwatch-provided radios.