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Call to ban sale of strong beer and cider

PUBLISHED: 07:52 14 December 2013

East of England Co-op stores are removing high-strength low cost beers and ciders from their shelves under a new initiative, 'Reduce the Strength'  Pictured performing a ceremonial product disposal at the Dereham Road Co-op Foodstore are, front, nurse practitoner Tracy Williams, Co-op Executive Officer for retail Roger Grosvenor, and from left to right, PC Joe Gutteridge, Robert Head (Co-op Area Manager), Co-op security manager Jamie Treloar,  PCSO Harriet Lucas, Co-op store manager Emma Barr.

East of England Co-op stores are removing high-strength low cost beers and ciders from their shelves under a new initiative, 'Reduce the Strength' Pictured performing a ceremonial product disposal at the Dereham Road Co-op Foodstore are, front, nurse practitoner Tracy Williams, Co-op Executive Officer for retail Roger Grosvenor, and from left to right, PC Joe Gutteridge, Robert Head (Co-op Area Manager), Co-op security manager Jamie Treloar, PCSO Harriet Lucas, Co-op store manager Emma Barr.

Keith Whitmore

Health chiefs are urging off-licences and stores in Norwich to stop selling cheap, high-strength beer and cider on the back of the Co-op’s decision this week.

The call is being made by Healthy Norwich, the campaign launched earlier in the year to help everyone lead healthier lives.

Earlier this week, the East of England Co-op took the lead by removing cheap, super-strength beers and ciders from its 35 Norfolk stores.

Tracy Williams, a Norwich nurse and member of Norwich Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG,) said: “We hope that other stores will follow the lead of the Co-op because it is good for the community and is good for business.

“Super-strength alcohol can do tremendous damage to people and that impact is felt by the communities that suffer increased NHS costs and anti-social behaviour.”

Many of the off-licences and stores in Norwich have already been urged to stop selling beers and ciders which contain more than 6.5pc alcohol, and more than a dozen stores are keen to join the campaign.

Each 500ml can of 9pc super-strength lager contains four and a half units of alcohol, while the government’s daily recommended safe alcohol limit for women is two to three units and for men, three to four units.

The rollout of the campaign in Norwich follows the success of a similar initiative in Suffolk where the sale of low-cost, high-strength beer and cider has led to fewer calls being made to police due to street drinking and fewer thefts of alcohol from shops.

Healthy Norwich is led by Norwich CCG, Norwich City Council, the public health team at Norfolk County Council and the Norfolk Drug and Alcohol Action Team.

Stores can register their interest in the campaign and request an information pack via healthynorwich@norwich.gov.uk

Do you agree with health chiefs? Write (giving your full contact details) to: The Letters Editor, EDP, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich NR1 1RE or email EDPLetters@archant.co.uk

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