The town that wants to introduce prohibition for strong beer and cider

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The Independent Online

A town has launched a campaign to stop the sale of super strength alcohol in what is believed to be the first initiative of its kind in Britain. Off-licence owners in Ipswich are being asked to remove strong beers and ciders from their stores in an effort to tackle alcohol abuse.

The town has seen four street drinkers murdered in the last three years, and police say the scheme could not only help those who depend on alcohol but also the wider community and those tasked with clean-up operations. Big chains including Tesco, the East of England Co-Op and McColl newsagents have signed up along with smaller independent retailers to voluntarily remove the products.

The campaign, backed by Suffolk Police, NHS Suffolk, Ipswich Borough Council and Suffolk County Council, is targeted at beers and ciders with an alcohol volume of 6.5 per cent and over which are often sold cheaply. There are 130 off-licences in Ipswich, 53 of which will be super-strength free following the launch.

A statement on behalf of the campaign said: "The negative impacts associated with super strength alcohol are significant for the consumer and the wider community, but also for the public services who deal with the consequences."