Super-strength beer and cider campaign sees Woolwich shopkeepers unite in crack down

Woolwich shopkeepers crack down on crime with super-strength alcohol campaign

Shopkeeper Jay Patel with campaign sticker

Woolwich shopkeepers unite

First published in News
Last updated
News Shopper: Photograph of the Author by , reporter

Woolwich shopkeepers are supporting a campaign to cut crime and anti-social behaviour by urging off-licences to take high-strength lager and cider off the shelves.

‘Reducing the Strength’ has been piloted in Woolwich and since starting 24 of the 30 stores targeted in the town centre have stopped stocking high-strength beer, lager and cider.

Shopkeepers are delighted at the dramatic effect the scheme has had on their businesses and have said takings have actually gone up as a result.

Townsend Newsagents manager Jay Patel, said: “We used to have drunk customers coming in, intimidating our staff, and actually urinating in the shop. When we stopped selling high-strength lager there was an immediate change, and the staff say they now feel a lot safer. I encourage anyone who has not yet signed up to do so.”

Traders were invited to a forum last Wednesday at the Woolwich Centre and received information about the cost of alcohol abuse on both health and crime, and met town centre wardens and licensing officers.

Kam Chotai, who runs Jash News in Woolwich New Road, said: “I support the scheme completely, and encourage others to sign up. It will encourage more people to come into your shop.”

There are plans for the campaign to be rolled out to other parts of the borough and is backed by the police and the Crime Reduction Initiative charity which supports people with alcohol abuse issues.

Greenwich cabinet member for community safety and environment Councillor Jackie Smith, said: “Abuse of high-strength alcohol is a very serious issue and it very quickly gets people into a state where their behaviour is not acceptable. I would like to thank all the traders who are co-operating with this scheme and urge other traders to sign up.”

Sgt Matt Burns, said: “One of the biggest challenges for us is anti-social behaviour, and a lot of that is linked to alcohol. Ninety-five per cent of the people drinking in General Gordon Square are regulars, and the vast majority drink very strong lager. Reducing it will have a knock-on effect and make the town centre a better place to be.”

The campaign aims to make it harder to buy cheap cider and lager above 6.5 per cent strength and shop window stickers are being provided for businesses to show they have signed up to it.

Comments (4)

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12:24pm Mon 4 Aug 14

Virtual-Monster says...

24 of 30 shops have stopped selling super strength lager, the remaining 6 stores of course have seen a massive increase in trade as they are now serving so many more customers.

Want to reduce crime and anti social behaviour in Woolwich? Demolish it and start again. As the bulldozers push the rubble out the way chuck local Councillors (otherwise known as 'community champions' HA!) in with the debris and get rid of them too.
24 of 30 shops have stopped selling super strength lager, the remaining 6 stores of course have seen a massive increase in trade as they are now serving so many more customers. Want to reduce crime and anti social behaviour in Woolwich? Demolish it and start again. As the bulldozers push the rubble out the way chuck local Councillors (otherwise known as 'community champions' HA!) in with the debris and get rid of them too. Virtual-Monster
  • Score: 12

1:00pm Mon 4 Aug 14

SidcupResident says...

The only reason the government still allows off-licenses to sell super-strength lager is to kill off the under/criminal classes before they reach pension age when the burden on the NHS and state pension bill will be higher, along with their usual ESA and Social Housing costs.

It's the same reason the government's soft on drugs. It's just euthanasia, albeit slow and prolonged.
The only reason the government still allows off-licenses to sell super-strength lager is to kill off the under/criminal classes before they reach pension age when the burden on the NHS and state pension bill will be higher, along with their usual ESA and Social Housing costs. It's the same reason the government's soft on drugs. It's just euthanasia, albeit slow and prolonged. SidcupResident
  • Score: -2

2:58pm Mon 4 Aug 14

Joelo says...

Woolwich town centre is meant to be a no drinking zone, however the lovely new square is always full of drunks. Maybe if the council & police enforced the no drinking zone normal people might be able to enjoy the square too.
Woolwich town centre is meant to be a no drinking zone, however the lovely new square is always full of drunks. Maybe if the council & police enforced the no drinking zone normal people might be able to enjoy the square too. Joelo
  • Score: 7

11:01am Tue 5 Aug 14

Dean ambrose says...

Sainsburys will never stop selling special brew because of deals with Carling
Sainsburys will never stop selling special brew because of deals with Carling Dean ambrose
  • Score: 3

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