Retailers can take part in Best Bar None awards

THIS year for the first time, the Best Bar None Angus Awards initiative run by the Focus on Alcohol Angus is to invite local retailers of alcohol sales to gain recognition for their good practice.

The ‘Safer Retailer Award for Alcohol’ category incorporates the national Safer Retailer Award and will be on offer to premises which sell alcohol on a retail basis.

Since the inception of the Best Bar None Angus initiative there have been requests from retailers, including supermarkets, small alcohol off-sales and general retailers, to establish an award that would recognise their efforts within the licensed trade to be a Best Bar None Angus outlet.

This new initiative complements the successful accreditation award scheme for the licensed trade that acknowledges good practice when selling alcohol within the community within pubs, bars and nightclubs.

Best Bar None Angus has been running successfully for the last four years. The scheme is co-ordinated locally 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 this year’s new category for off-sales premises is seen as very positive.

Chief Superintendent Colin MacKay of Tayside Police 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.”

He continued: “As such, I welcome the introduction of this new category this year and I would urge local shops and supermarkets which sell alcohol to apply for the award.”

Both the Safer Retailer Award and Best Bar None nationally are supported and promoted through 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.

Councillor Donald Morrison welcomed the introduction of the award for local retailers.

He said: “Tayside Police state that alcohol remains a huge factor in most criminal acts. Recognising local retailers who are keen to demonstrate to official agencies (police, local council, etc.) just how well they manage their own business and reduce risk of harm to their customers is to be welcomed as it can also enhance their reputation in the community.

“Local retailers from the sole trader to the big supermarket also have to be extremely vigilant when selling alcohol to adults that will not be passed on to someone underage and positive dialogues between the official agencies and retail members can only help combat this problem and continue to raise awareness of alcohol abuse has on society.”

He concluded: “However, one of the major problems of alcohol abuse is due to the big supermarkets able to offer deals such as two bottles of spirits or three cases of lager for £18 which results in people ‘front loading’ before going out for a night on the town.”

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