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Voluntary ban on high strength alcohol

Following a consultation earlier this year, we have implemented a voluntary ban on the sales of high strength "white cider" products (over 6% alcohol by volume) from off-licences within a specified area of High Wycombe town centre.

About the scheme

The scheme follows increasing evidence of the harm caused by this type of alcohol to vulnerable drinkers and also as a result of the crime, disorder and nuisance caused by street drinkers within the town centre.

Similar schemes implemented in parts of Westminster and Ipswich have proved effective in improving the affected areas for both residents and workers. The retailers that participated in the scheme in Westminster also reported no loss of income and a reduction in instances of theft from shop lifting.

The scheme is strongly supported by Thames Valley Police, the High Wycombe Bid Company Ltd and our Licensing and Town Centre Committees.

The Licensing Act 2003 requires that local authorities promote the licensing objectives, which are:

  • the prevention of public nuisance
  • the protection of children from harm
  • public safety
  • the prevention of crime and disorder

The government is also consulting on introducing "health" as a fifth licensing objective. It is considered that the proposed voluntary ban on high strength alcohol would be an effective means of promoting all of these objectives.

How to join the scheme

Applicants can volunteer specific conditions which can be placed on their licences or conditions can be imposed by a Licensing Sub-Committee further to concerns being raised by the police or any of the other responsible authorities.

It is hoped that all off-licences within the scheme area will recognise the benefits of the scheme in reducing anti-social behaviour and harm to street drinkers. Any licence holder wishing to join the scheme would not be charged the usual statutory fee to amend their licences to include a condition restricting the sale of high strength white ciders.

Designated area for the scheme

The scheme area correlates to the current Designated Public Places Order which places certain restrictions on the consumption of alcohol in public areas. To see a map of the area, download the document below.

Further information

You can download more information about the scheme below.

If you have any queries about the scheme please phone our Licensing team on 01494 421 222.