June 18 2013 Latest news:
by Colin Adwent, crime correspondent
Tuesday, September 25, 2012
Taking the pledge to banish super-strength drink from our streets
A GROUND-breaking drive to banish the curse of cheap super-strength alcohol from Ipswich off-licences was launched today.
Shopkeepers across the town are playing their part in the Reducing the Strength campaign by taking the low-cost, high-density drink off their shelves in the first initiative of its kind in the country.
Among the big names taking the pledge within the Ipswich borough boundary are Tesco, East of England Co-op, and McColls.
Off-licences are also being asked to become Ipswich ‘superheroes’ by becoming ‘Super Strength Free’ and removing these products from their stores.
Suffolk Constabulary, NHS Suffolk, Ipswich Borough Council, Suffolk County Council and the East of England Co-op are working together to halt the sale of the cheap alcohol, which has serious effects on consumers and communities.
The Ipswich Star is also backing the initiative.
Super-strength alcohol includes low-cost lager, beer and cider with an alcohol volume of 6.5 per cent or more.
Licensees in Ipswich have been asked to join the campaign by voluntarily removing these products from their stores.
A total of 23 independent stores are already ‘super-strength free’.
In total there are 130 off-licences in Ipswich, 53 of which will have stopped selling the cheap alcohol after today.
Campaign leaders hope by highlighting the problems associated with this type of alcohol, the number of premises selling it will be reduced, and the public will have a better understanding of the dangers.
The initiative follows the murders of four street drinkers in the town over the past three years.
Speaking on behalf of the campaign partners, Inspector Andrew Mason, of Ipswich police, said: “We are positive that the Reducing the Strength campaign will have significant, long-lasting, positive effects for the people of Ipswich.
“The negative impacts associated with super-strength alcohol are significant for the consumer and the wider community, but also for the public services who deal with the consequences.
“We hope that licensees will share our belief in the positives associated with becoming ‘super-strength free’ and that they will recognise the huge benefits that can result from removing these products from their shelves.
“We are the first county in the country to launch a campaign of this kind, and we hope that with support from our off-licences, we can roll this out across Suffolk, and eventually offer the campaign as a model for public services across the UK.”