United Kingdom: Ban on super-strength alcohol in Ilford hailed a success by council
By Ajay Nair
July 20, 2015
But some shopkeepers backing the scheme fear drinkers have been buying it elsewhere.
Jagvinder Singh, 39, of Ilford Food & Wines, Cranbrook Road, Ilford, says the joint Redbridge Council and Metropolitan Police scheme designed to combat anti-social behaviour has “shifted” the problem.
The comments come after permanent conditions were placed on participating shops’ licences – not to sell beers, ciders and lagers over 6.5 per cent.
Mr Singh said: “I’ve had customers asking me about the beers and I say we don’t do it anymore and they say they’re getting it from other shops.
“Of course, it does affect my business and I have lost a few customers because of it, but I’m still happy to keep it off our shelves – it’s a good scheme.
“However, people are getting it from elsewhere – it’s shifting the problem – it will only work if all the shops commit to it.”
Shop manager at nearby Cranbrook Supermarket Ozgur Mersin said the ban had a positive impact at his shop.
He said: “We used to have drunk people coming here and causing problems – so many of them. Now, it’s much better than before – it’s a very good idea.”
Cllr Dev Sharma, cabinet member for civic pride, said: “We are pleased the scheme has had positive effects for businesses and people living and visiting the area.
“We will continue to do all we can to reduce the numbers of street drinkers who are having an impact on Ilford and other areas of the borough.”
Ch Insp John Fish said street drinking was a “local priority”.
“Reducing the availability of specific alcoholic drinks preferred by street drinkers is an important factor in dealing with the issue,” he said.
“We are grateful for the collective efforts of the partnership which includes the local authority, charity groups and businesses and remain confident that together we will achieve further reductions in crime and anti-social behaviour this summe