Well, not so magic according to Ipswich police. It’s the number of death.
Ipswich police in their infinite power are ‘encouraging’ off licenses to stop selling 6.5%+ beers and ciders due to their association with problem drinkers. They’re also saying that if off licenses refuse to voluntarily have their license changed to prohibit the sale of high strength beers, there could be ‘issues’ and 'objections' come license review time.
This is fucked up. Yeah, there are problem drinkers but surely that’s only a small number compared to those of us who drink sensibly? We’re getting punished for wanting to drink a tasty glass of Duvel at 8.5% after a hard day’s work. We’re getting kicked to the ground like Carlsberg Special Brew drinkers. Hey, let’s all just do what they want us to do and drink our 2.7% cans of Skol.
What’s more is that Co-Op and Tesco have stopped selling 6.5%+ beers in ALL of their Suffolk stores already, before they even have to. This means that in the county where Adnams Innovation is brewed, you can’t even go to your local fucking co-op and buy a bottle as it’s 6.7%.
So, why are Suffolk police doing this? Well it’s simple really, it’s to stop people from street drinking. Apparently some of these street drinkers are drinking 10-12 cans of super strength lager a day. Yep, I can definitely see this working. Wait, actually, no I can’t; they’ll just drink double the amount of lower ABV beers because, for instance a 4 pack of Carlsberg Special Brew at 9% costs £8 for 4 whereas 8 cans of regular Carlsberg (3.8%) in your standard off license costs exactly the same. They’ll still drink exactly the same amount but with more empty cans on the ground. Or worse, they’ll move on to spirits which will do a lot more damage to them and probably result in more deaths (I’m not a fucking doctor, OK?).
Suffolk police are also saying that another reason to do this is that 4 street drinkers have been murdered in Ipswich in the last 3 years. Woah. Holy fuck. I am never leaving my house again. If I’m drunk in public I’ll probably get murdered. Oh do fuck off. I honestly don’t understand the point they’re trying to make here.
Ok, so back to the licensing thing… Suffolk police are saying that if off licenses don’t voluntarily change their license, there may be issues or ‘objections’ come review time. What the fuck is this bullshit? Abuse of power is exactly what it is. Surely, as Tim pointed out on Twitter, it’s coercion? I mean, surely if it’s not illegal for a shop to sell a product the police can’t say “Either stop selling it or we’ll force you to; or worse, we’ll take down your business”, can they? This is how the words ‘issues’ and ‘objections’ are reading to me.
It’s all straight up bullshit. What we need is EDUCATION, not PROHIBITION. We need the correct measures in place to SUPPORT problem drinkers. We don’t need DICTATORSHIP.
I’m not gonna lie, I like a drink or two. Hell, I even like to get drunk sometimes but I’ve learned to respect alcohol after growing up and seeing how my dad was. I’ll tell you something personal, my dad was an alcoholic. It was really fucking difficult for me growing up, seeing my dad constantly drinking super strength lager and being asleep on the sofa. I had no relationship with my dad. What it took for him to wake the fuck up and actually realise that he needed to quit was almost dying. I’ve seen my dad at the lowest point and I could never be like that. I’ve basically had it scared into me to not go overboard.
This is why we need education, because anyone could fall into this trap if they’re not careful. I don’t know what pushed my dad over the edge into it but it happened and it affected me deeply. Right now, what we need is education. We need to say to kids “look, it’s OK to drink. Just be careful. Everything in moderation”. Prohibiting won’t work as the human brain doesn’t register negatives in the way that we think they should. We all know that telling someone they can’t do something often makes them want to do it more and it’s not out of rebellion, it’s simple neurology. We need the support there to help people like my dad which luckily we were able to find for him.
So, let’s recap; it’s utter bullshit to punish us sensible drinkers because of the minority of problem drinkers, Suffolk police are just wrong and we need 2 things in order to stop problem drinking:
For the record, my dad has been sober for about 7 years now and he’s awesome!