Anorak News | Trouble In Store

Trouble In Store

by | 9th, February 2006

‘THERE could be any number of reasons why, as the Times reports, Waitrose “is worst for drinks sales to under-18s”.

Perhaps the supermarket chain is getting the children of its typically middle-class punters ready for that family holiday touring Tuscan vineyards?

Perhaps the strategy employed by a Home Office alcohol enforcement campaign was flawed and the under-18s sent into Waitrose to buy booze were particularly big and hairy for their age?

As with all surveys, much is open to debate. But the apparent fact is that Waitrose sold alcohol to 22 per cent of under-age customers who asked for it, beating Somerfield (20 per cent) the Co-op (17 per cent), Tesco and Sainsbury (both 16 per cent) and Morrisons (15 per cent).

Christian Cull, the marketing director of Waitrose, says: “The sample was small, but it does show that there is clear room for improvement.”

Indeed. And while the nation’s yoof head for Waitrose, the Telegraph brings other news of bingeing Britain.

More Home Office figures suggest that the change in the licensing laws has led to a fall in violent crime. The Home Office says that violent crime fell by 11 per cent, from 103,061 in October 2005 to 90,847 in December 2005.

Rather than being soaked in a river of blood and regurgitated hooch, thanks to 24-hour boozing, Britain is a safer place to be. The plan worked. The Government got it right.

Only the Tories are less sure, accusing ministers of spinning ‘bogus’ figures. It’s a claim backed up by the Statistics Commission, an independent watchdog set up to ensure that Government figures are trustworthy.

The problem seems to be that the change to the licensing laws was supported by an apparent big increase in policing.

David Davis, the shadow home secretary, says the figures are a result of a “six-week crackdown on violence which cost £2.5 million”. He asks: “What happens when this money runs out?’

We don’t know. Perhaps we’ll have to save up – or start buying more of our booze on the duty-free continent…’

Posted: 9th, February 2006 | In: Uncategorized Comment | TrackBack | Permalink