The alcohol industry has slammed a report calling for a raft of new restrictions on alcohol sales, deeming it “nonsensical”.
The Anytime, Anyplace, Anywhere? report, which compares British and Australian alcohol laws has recommended stricter limits on licenced and attacked industry harm reduction schemes.
Recommendations include banning alcohol sales after 10pm to match restrictions already in place in Scotland; limiting the number of licensed shops in some areas and making it tougher to obtain an alcohol licence; and forbidding the sale of ‘high-risk products’ in areas with high level of alcohol harm. The restrictions would also ban promotional secondary displays of alcohol to discourage impulse purchases.
The report suggests the 80 Community Alcohol Partnerships(CAPs) set up across the UK have limited success and are expensive for councils to run and recommends reducing Government collaboration with these schemes.
Singling out the Portman Group, the body for alcohol manufacturers, as the main organiser, the report describes the schemes as “far less effective at reducing harm than other options”.
The Portman Group’s guidance material claims CAPs are successful in reducing anti-social behaviour and underage drinking where applied. In response to the report, Portman Group deputy CEO Sarah Hanratty told Retail Express: “It is nonsensical to suggest voluntary schemes should be ‘deprioritised’ in an age where we are all seeking multi-sector solutions to societal issues.
“There are many great initiatives supported by retailers and businesses which reduce anti-social behaviour and prevent underage sales.”
The Institute for Alcohol Studies (UK) and the Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education (FARE) partnered to produce the report to tackle alcohol-related harm.