UK Government

Local Better Regulation Office: Local solutions already exist in fight against irresponsible drinking

Press Release   •   Jan 21, 2010 11:10 GMT

Moves to curb irresponsible drinking have led to a call for a 'revisit of existing solutions', particularly in preventing sales of alcohol to young people.

The call comes from LBRO (Local Better Regulation Office), the public body responsible for better local regulation, which conducted a study into preventing underage sales of alcohol.

The study, which involved five police forces and 11 local councils, highlighted a number of initiatives which were successful due to partnership working between the relevant organisations and in particular engaging businesses which see themselves as part of the community and want to be part of the solution.

LBRO Chairman Clive Grace said: "Recent announcements have focused on the availability of cheap alcohol but most people recognise that the problem of irresponsible drinking, and the resulting crime and antisocial behaviour is a wider and more complex social problem.

"While there is no single 'silver bullet' to cure these ills, we think these examples of best practice by local authorities and police forces are worth revisiting, and have important lessons that could be applied across the UK."

"According to a TSI survey, over a quarter of 14 to 17-year-olds are able to purchase alcohol for themselves. Initiatives such as the ones identified in the study can lead to a reduction in anti-social behaviour and can make communities better places to live particularly on Friday and Saturday evenings. This is why LBRO is keen to take its work forward with local authorities to find the best ways to reduce the problem."


Lancashire County Council recognised that around half of the districts within the county were worse than the national average for health issues linked to alcohol.  Lancashire looked to educating retailers and the general population with various initiatives including consulting with over 2000 young people to inform them of their alcohol awareness campaigns. In a successful project considered effective by 80 per cent of local licensees, Lancashire is targeting those who buy alcohol and pass it on to underage young people through their Campaign Against Proxy Sales (CAPS).


Brighton and Hove is an area with a thriving night-time economy and a high concentration of licensed premises.  It has a high youth population and has suffered from problems such as street drinking and alcohol misuse.  The city council has set out to change the culture of the night-time economy by encouraging activities where alcohol is not central to the event. Their focus has been around business support with 84 per cent of licensees stating it as an effective method. Trading Standards offer advice and support to licensees through business support visits, helping them consider the location of alcohol in the premises, building up staff confidence to challenge and refuse sales and generally raising awareness of underage issues.


1. The report, Protecting Young People From Alcohol Related Harm, is available to download at

2.   The study was undertaken for LBRO by Research by Design Ltd.

3.   Sources of Statistics:

4. The Young Persons Alcohol Survey Report published at the Trading Standards Institute's Annual Conference was carried out for TSNW by Ci Research of Wilmslow, Cheshire.

5. Organisations that took part in the study included:

* Blackpool Council

* Lancashire County Council

* Brighton & Hove City Council

* Cambridgeshire County Council

* Ceredigion County Council

* Cleveland Police

* Lothian and Borders Police

* Central Scotland Police

* Hampshire County Council

* Flintshire County Council

* Sevenoaks District Council

* Central Scotland Police

* University of Wales Institute

* Wiltshire Police

6. The Local Better Regulation Office (LBRO) helps local authorities improve their environmental health, trading standards, fire safety and licensing services - reducing burdens on businesses that comply with the law while targeting those who flout it. It was incorporated as a government-owned limited company in May 2007. Following the commencement of the Regulatory Enforcement and Sanctions Act 2008 on 1 October 2008, it now operates as an executive non-departmental public body, accountable to the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills through the Better Regulation Executive. LBRO is governed by an independent Board, has a staff of around 25 and is based in central Birmingham. Our remit covers the whole of the UK and we liaise closely with the devolved administrations to ensure our work in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland is appropriate. For further information please visit

Media enquiries to Jo Barker or Roland Curtis. Tel: 0121 226 4019. Email: or

Local Better Regulation Office
The Axis, 10 Holliday Street, Birmingham B1 1TG
0121 226 4000



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