Pub consultant urges MPs and police chiefs to adopt Australian approach to alcohol abuse

By Adam Pescod

- Last updated on GMT

Kheng: urging MPs and police chiefs to look at Australian laws around alcohol
Kheng: urging MPs and police chiefs to look at Australian laws around alcohol

Related tags New south wales United kingdom

A pub-trade consultant has urged police chiefs and MPs to use the example of New South Wales (NSW), Australia, when tackling UK problems of alcohol abuse.

Michael Kheng, director of Kurnia Licensing Consultants, believes that issues of underage sales and binge drinking could be solved through the incorporation of a range of measures which are part of alcohol laws in New South Wales.

Kheng, who recently completed a Responsible Service of Alcohol (RSA) course in Sydney, has written to every police crime commissioner (PCC) in England and Wales, along with a number of MPs and officials in the Home Office’s alcohol unit.

The on-trade is too often unfairly blamed for alcohol-related problems in the UK, according to Kheng, and he has recommended that the following measures (active in New South Wales) be considered by PCCs and MPs:

  • Mandatory accredited training for anyone involved in the sale and supply of alcohol. Licensees in New South Wales must have completed the RSA course in New South Wales, and passed the assessments, before being able to sell or supply alcohol.
  • Increasing the amount of a fixed-penalty notice for selling to a person under 18. The fixed penalty in New South Wales for any person who serves a minor is AUD $1,100 (approx £665).
  • Increase the amount of a fixed penalty to under-18s who purchase or attempt to purchase alcohol and ensure such penalties are enforced.
  • Penalties for people who fail to leave a premises or the vicinity of a premises and penalties if they try to re-enter.
  • Restrict where alcohol can be sold in the off-trade. Supermarkets, convenience stores and takeaways in New South Wales are not permitted to sell alcohol.
  • Random breath-testing for drivers.

“Our industry is too often targeted for extra revenue and headline-grabbing stories,” said Kheng.

“We ask that you look at the NSW model and if you agree that the measures would address some [UK] alcohol-related issues, use your position as a MP to pass the message to the Home Office and Parliament to have the matter discussed.”

Related topics Licensing law