Ipswich: Reducing The Strength Alcohol Campaign Success

3 April 2013, 17:30 | Updated: 3 April 2013, 17:38

A campaign where the sale of super-strength alcohol was stopped has been hailed a success six months after it started.

Two thirds of the town’s 122 stores have now signed up and figures reveal its had positive effects for the town.

In September 2012 when the campaign was launched, 53 stores were super strength free. To date, 80 are signed up, equating to two thirds, or 65% of the town’s total stores.  Support has also been gained from almost all national retailers with stores in the town, with the East of England Co-op, Tesco, Martin McColl, Debenhams, Marks and Spencer, BHS, Waitrose, Sainsburys and Aldi all signed up.

Figures also show a big reduction in the number of times members of the public have called the police to report incidents of concern involving the street drinking community. Ninety-four ‘street drinker events’ were reported to police in the six months from the launch of the campaign (September 2012-March 2013), compared with 191 events in the same period the year before.  This equates to a drop of 49.2%.

The number of reported incidents of crime and anti-social behaviour (ASB) at or around Co-op Stores in Ipswich have been analysed, both before and after the implementation of the campaign.  Only the 26 Co-op stores were included in this analysis, rather than all off-licences in the town, as Co-op stores were signed up from the outset, allowing the greatest statistically significant timeframe.

Statistics show no change in the level of crime or ASB in these locations, but this is against the backdrop of falling levels of crime and ASB across the whole of the town.  For the year to the end of February 2013, crime in Ipswich is down 14% and ASB is down 19%.