Under-age drinking tackled by new licensing laws in Lambeth


A ‘one-strike and you’re out’ policy is being proposed


By Chidi Ogundu

Lambeth Council have launched a major crackdown on rogue off- licences that sell alcohol to under-age children.

Currently, the council need to prove three cases where the law has been broken before it can stop an off-licence selling alcohol, but it is now proposing a one-strike and you’re out policy.

Cabinet Member for Safer and Stronger Neighbourhoods, Cllr Jack Hopkins, believes the ‘one-strike and you’re out’ policy will protect young people in the borough.

“In Lambeth the sale of alcohol has reached unacceptable levels, fuelling violence and creating serious disturbance for our residents,” he said.

“The one-strike policy is just one part of a rebalancing of the way alcohol is sold here, and a move away from the old ‘anything goes’ approach.”

There are over 1,300 licensed bars, clubs, restaurants, late night take-aways and off-licences in Lambeth, one of the highest of any boroughs in London.

“We want Lambeth to keep its place as one of the best places in London. But we are going to be demanding better, more responsibly run pub, clubs and off-licenses,” added Cllr Hopkins.

It is currently against the law for any outlets to sell alcohol to anyone under 18, and can lead to a £10,000 fine for bar staff and manager or premises being shut down.

Falguni Patel, 46, a shopkeeper at Londis in Clapham Park agrees with Lambeth Council’s proposals.

“I am dead against any off-licence selling alcohol to children,” she said.

“But I think they need to be given one chance because they might have accidently sold alcohol to children in the past.”

Lambeth’s new Licensing Policy also seeks to put the cost of cleaning up after drunk people onto the venues, improve women’s safety and give Lambeth residents more say about the venues in their neighbourhoods.

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