Published on November 14th, 2011 | by Dean Carr
Off-licences targeted in Alcohol Concern report
New research commissioned by Alcohol Concern, the national agency on alcohol misuse, has identified a positive correlation the density of off-licensed premises and harm from alcohol in underage drinkers. Their national survey suggests that within a given locality*, the average number of under-18 year olds being admitted to hospital due to alcohol specific conditions increases proportionally with the number of off-licences (with an average 1:2 relationship identified).
The report, One on every Corner, concludes that off-licence sales are the predominant direct and indirect source of access to alcohol for young people under 18 years old. Alcohol Concern Chief Executive, Don Shenker, said: “It is a failing of the current system that so many licences are being granted without due consideration to young people’s health…A new health objective should be included in the Licensing Act to enable local authorities to refuse new licenses in order to reduce alcohol-related harm and protect young people.” The report argues that Government needs to introduce measures that reduce the general availability of alcohol by regulating off licence density.
So what can be done within off-licences to combat the dangers posed by underage drinking? All personal licence holders are legally required to actively promote the four licensing objectives:
1: The prevention of crime and disorder
2: Public Safety
3: The prevention of public nuisance
4: The protection of children from harm
In order to minimise the risk of sale of alcohol to underage customers, personal licence holders are increasingly implementing a Challenge 25 policy. Recent changes to UK licensing law have already seen a mandatory Challenge 25 policy introduced in Scotland.
More information about Challenge 25 can be found here. You can download a free “Challenge 25” poster by clicking here.