Elgin off-sales receive advisory checks from Police

LICENSED PREMISES IN ELGIN have been visited alongside dozens throughout the north east in an operation to ensure licensees and staff were adhering to conditions to promote ‘responsible drinking’.

A police operation on Friday evening was led by licensing inspector Kenny McGeough with the support of local authority Licensing Standards officers.

The exercise mainly focused on ‘off-sales’ with officers reminding retailers of the crucial role they play in ensuring the undesired effects of alcohol are minimised.

Police Scotland strives to reduce alcohol-fuelled violence in private or licensed premises and on the street, and regular directed inspections are carried out to ensure that licence holders and their staff take responsibility for what they are selling and who they are selling to.

Inspector McGeough said: “When it comes to responsible drinking, licensed premises play a huge part in providing a safe environment for members of the public to enjoy their nights out.

“But we cannot ignore the ‘off-sales’ trade which caters for 75% of alcohol sold. This alcohol is often consumed in large quantities and in private, and drinking alcohol at home before a night out – also known as ‘pre-loading’ – can be problematic if done so in large quantities.

“Off-sales licence holders and staff work extremely hard and show a real willingness to eradicate problems and reduce incidents of violence but they have limited power to manage the consumption of alcohol once it has been purchased.

“They can, however, actively regulate how much alcohol is sold and who it is sold to. That is why we are fully committed to working in partnership with the Licensing trade to share information, expertise and target our resources in the right places to achieve long term results.”

The Inspector urged the public to assist them with efforts to tackle alcohol-related crimes by drinking responsibly at home and while out, ensuring that their evening does not end in the wrong way.

He added: “Alcohol itself doesn’t make people violent but it lowers inhibitions and increases risk taking behaviour which can compromise your own and others safety. As such, both the public and licensed premises are crucial partners with Police Scotland to help manage and reduce this.

“We all have a role to play in ensuring nights out are memorable for all the right reasons and by working together we can make a real difference.”