Islington Council plans ban on new off licences

A BAN on new off licences opening in Islington could be introduced as part of a raft of measures to combat binge drinking and anti-social behaviour.

Last month the Gazette revealed that Islington had the second highest concentration of 24-hour off licences anywhere in London – while latest medical research shows that almost a quarter of adults in the borough binge drink.

Islington has also been named the sixth worst local authority in England for alcohol-related crime, violent crime, death rates and hospital admissions.

Now a series of proposals to address the problem have been announced as part of review of the council’s licensing policy which takes place every three years.

They include restricting the number of off licences in Islington and the hours they can open; making the entire borough a drinking controlled zone where police can confiscate alcohol from anti-social boozers; declaring Clerkenwell “saturated” and not allowing any more pubs, bars and clubs to open in the area; tougher penalties for shopkeepers selling booze to underage youngsters

Councillor Paul Smith, Islington Council’s executive member for environment, said: “We want to toughen up Islington’s policies so police and council officers can tackle the problems that alcohol causes. The new council administration is determined to stop a minority of nuisance drinkers causing problems for our community.” The proposed policies are being put out to public consultation until November 15.