Pricing issue is 'not for police'

The leading police commander on

licensing has said officers will not get involved in minimum pricing.

In an exclusive interview with OLN, Simon O'Brien, head of licensing at the Association of Chief Police Officers, said: "It's not something I want to see

police officers going in checking the price of alcohol. It's not for us and not part of our primary responsibilities at all."


issue of police monitoring price and promotions in shops was first set out in the government's draft mandatory code on drinks sales

at the start of the year.

Last month Gordon Brown appeared to rule out minimum pricing

in England, and now O'Brien has added his weight against the controversial measure.

He said: "I haven't been asked for my view on pricing yet. If that comes forward, it has to come forward with some good evidence to support it. I don't think we will be the price monitors - whatever happens on price I don't see that's an area we'll get into."

Wine & Spirit Trade Association chief executive Jeremy Beadles said: "The government has made its view pretty clear that they don't wish to proceed with minimum pricing at this time. We think it's illegal and think it's far too simple a measure. "

The government's mandatory code could allow local authorities to set minimum prices for retailers in their areas.

Locally enforceable conditions also include forcing shops to display alcohol separately from other products; banning or restricting the external display of discounted price offers; training schemes to be approved by the licensing authority; and designated premises supervisors to keep incident books recording any crime or disorder in their shops.