Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Booze Van Scheme Comes under Fire; Owner Insists Business Isn't Causing Harm

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Booze Van Scheme Comes under Fire; Owner Insists Business Isn't Causing Harm

Article excerpt

Byline: Helen Rae

ABUSINESS offering a door-to-door alcohol service has been criticised for encouraging excessive drinking.

The Booze Van, which operates throughout Tyneside, offers late night alcoholic drinks direct to people's doors from 10pm to 6am, seven days a week.

Kevan Martin, chief executive of the North East Regional Alcohol Forum (NERAF), said the service should be banned.

"Booze vans should not be allowed to operate as they are making alcohol much too readily available," he explained.

"People who will access the service through the night will be those who have alcohol problems and are unable to get drink from the supermarket or off-licence because they're closed. I don't see how this service can be of benefit to those in the North East. It is exploiting people with alcohol problems. There should be a crackdown on easy access to alcohol as we need to encourage responsible drinking, not excessive drinking." The North East has some of the worst problems in England with drinking.

Recent statistics show alcohol-specific hospital admissions are up to 35% higher in the region than the national average and rates of death in men from chronic liver disease increased by almost 22% from 2001 to 2005. More than one third of offenders being supervised by the

National Offender Management Service in the North East are believed to be alcoholics.

But father-of-four Glen Bolton, who owns The Booze Van, said his service was preventing anti-social behaviour as well as drink driving.

The 38-year-old, of Kenton, Newcastle, said: "The Booze Van is a great service as people can just ring me up and I'll bring the alcohol to them.

"This means people aren't getting home from drinking on a night out and then deciding to get into their car to go somewhere to buy more alcohol. …

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