Northumbria Police boss hopes for booze price changes to ‘improve health and safety’

Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner Vera Baird.
Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner Vera Baird.
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Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner Vera Baird says she has renewed hope an increase in the minimum price of alcohol could be adopted by European law.

EU legal advisor Yves Bot has said the proposal “risks infringing the principle of the free movement of goods”.

He believes the scheme proposed by the Scottish National Party would only be legal if it could be shown “no other mechanism could deliver the desired public health benefits”.

But Commissioner Baird, who has campaigned for an increase in the minimum price of alcohol especially the end of cheap sales of high-strength drink that is targeted at young people, believes his comments actually offer hope.

She said: “This shouldn’t be seen as a set-back in any way. The advocate general has said that the policy can be implemented if it is shown to be the most effective public health measure available. Now it’s about proving that is the case.

“There is firm evidence that this approach can improve public health and safety as well as reducing crime.”