04 February 2008

alcohol - short term memory loss?

The BBC reported that the Government proposes to introduce new police powers to confiscate alcohol from young people found drinking in public.

Media, Police and groups such as Alcohol Concern all welcomed the measure.

Which is strange because, as far as we can see, the Home office is simply re-announcing a power created more than a decade ago, with the Confiscation of Alcohol (young Persons) Act 1997:
This empowers police to require under 18-s to hand over alcohol in a public place. Failure to do so (without reasonable cause) and to give a name and address when requested summary offence and carries power of arrest.

The Act was slightly amended in 2001 but, to our knowledge remains in force.

We are slightly concerned that Alcohol Concern's spokesman, who had done the media rounds the day before welcoming the new legislation was unaware of the old one. But we were far more concerned that the Home Office seems to have experienced total short term memory loss as to what legislation has already been enacted. Alternatively they may be hoping that the UK population is so stewed that they simply won't spot this blatant attempt at legislative recycling!

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