Ipswich bans high strength alcohol

Ipswich police have asked shopkeepers in the town to stop selling high strength, cheap beer and cider to help curb drink-related crime.

The “Reducing the Strength” campaign is backed by Suffolk police, NHS Suffolk, Ipswich borough council and Suffolk county council and is designed to curb the sale of super-strength drinks that are sold cheaply.

Both Tesco and the Co-Op have agreed to stop selling beers and ciders such as White Ace, White Star and Carlsberg Super Strength. The Co-Op has said it will remove the drinks from all 54 of its stores in Suffolk.

In some off-licences, 500ml cans of 9% lager can be bought for as little as £1.30 and 7.5% cider for 99 pence.

Police chiefs have called the prices “pocket money”. The scheme is thought to be the first of is kind in the country and is designed to tackle Ipswich’s rising problem with street drinkers and the drunkenness, crime and rubbish that they generate.

Police Constable John Alcock, Ipswich’s street-drinking liaison officer, told the Guardian: “A single can (of super-strength alcohol) contains more than the recommended daily allowance for a male. The street drinkers are drinking copious amounts of this. Some are drinking 10 to 12 cans a day.

“Cheap super-strength alcohol is also attractive to underage drinkers as the cost means it is affordable and achieves the desired effect without them knowing, or even caring, how strong the cider or lager is.”

Fifty-three of Ipswich’s 130 off-licences have signed up to the scheme so far and more are expected to follow.

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