Yesterday the Evening Standard was reporting that the Mayor was keen on a Croydon scheme to stop under 21s buying drinks at off-licences.
Today they are reporting that a number of other councils are up for it too, including Westminster, Kensington and Chelsea, Hammersmith and Fulham and our own Ealing.
Council leader Jason Stacey said: “It is a great idea and we hope as many off-licences as possible sign up to the scheme. I hope it will reduce binge drinking among teenagers.”
I need to declare an interest as a licencee myself but this really is a good idea. Having young people drinking lots of cheap booze at home or in the park isn’t good for anyone. Licensed premises are typically managed and there is a certain discipline enforced by the landlord, even in the worst pub chain managed premises – compared to ten youths clustered around a park bench or on a street corner.
A 21 age limit in off-licences also makes booze way more inaccessible to under 18s.