ANGUS RETAILERS COULD BE THE ‘BEST BAR NONE’

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THE TEAM behind the Best Bar None Angus Awards initiative are preparing to extend the invitation to take part in the scheme to local retailers of alcohol sales.

Focus on Alcohol Angus hope that by including retailers to the awards it will help them to gain recognition for their good practice.

The ‘Safer Retailer Award for Alcohol’ category is part of the national ‘Safer Retailer Award’ and will be on offer to all premises who sell alcohol on a retail basis.

It was decided to add this new category after calls from retailers, including supermarkets, small alcohol off-sales and general retailers, to establish an award that would recognise their efforts within the licensed trade.

The addition of this award complements the successful award scheme for the licensed trade that acknowledges good practice when selling alcohol within the community in pubs, bars and nightclubs.

Best Bar None Angus has been running very successfully for the last four years and is co-ordinated by the Focus on Alcohol Angus partnership, Tayside Police, Tayside Fire and Rescue, Angus Local Licensing Forum, Trading Standards Service and Angus Council’s Joint Services Team (community safety).

The introduction of the new off-sales category is proving to be a popular move. Tayside Police’s chief superintendent Colin Mackay said: “There is no doubt that many of the problems caused by alcohol stem from the alcohol that people buy to drink at home, friend’s houses, or in public places.

“This is largely due to the fact that sales of alcohol bought in small and large shops, as well as supermarkets clearly outweigh sales of alcohol bought in pubs, bars, restaurants, nightclubs and elsewhere.

“Unfortunately, for a number of reasons, alcohol consumption at home and elsewhere can be excessive. By further raising the good standards that we already have here in Angus in premises that sell alcohol to the public, off the shelves, we will help to further reduce the number of instances of crime and anti-social behaviour associated with excessive alcohol consumption.

“As such, I welcome the introduction of this new category within our successful Best Bar None Angus Awards and I would urge local shops and supermarkets who sell alcohol across Angus to apply for the Award.”

Both the Safer Retailer Award and Best Bar None nationally are supported by the Scottish Business Crime Centre.

Best Bar None in Angus is the first initiative to bring together both schemes to recognise good practice in alcohol sales both on and off licensed premises.

Matt Ronan from the Scottish Business Crime Centre said: “The Safer Retail Award Scotland was implemented as a follow on to the successful Best Bar None Scotland scheme.

“By running both initiatives side by side Angus has again led the way as an example of good practice. Too often communities are blighted by behaviour such as that which is fuelled by the sale of alcohol across the counter.

“The police are well used to coping with the consequences when complaints start coming in.

“This scheme in Angus is about getting in early and working with retailers to further control the supply at source.

“I am delighted that retailers in Angus are willing to meet the high standards required to be accredited under the Safer Retailer Award. In doing so those shops are showing their willingness to make Angus an even better place to live and work.

“This initiative is yet another excellent example of the Focus on Alcohol Angus partnership approach to tackling the important issues that are associated with alcohol.”

To apply to take part in the New Safer Retailer Award for Alcohol Category contact Focus on Alcohol Angus on 01307 474879 or email alcohol@angus.gov.uk