Glasgow & West Scotland

Police face legal challenge over Buckfast anti-crime labels

Media captionBuckfast's distributor believes the labels are illegal

The distributors of Buckfast are taking legal action against Strathclyde Police in a bid to stop the force adding its own anti-crime labels to bottles of the tonic wine.

J Chandler & Co wants a judge to stop bottle marking because the company says the practice stigmatises the brand.

The firm is due to lodge a case at the court of session on Friday.

Strathclyde Police said it was unable to comment before receiving a court summons.

In 2010, the force said the tonic wine had been mentioned in more than 5,000 crime reports over the previous three years.

It asks some retailers to attach police stickers to bottles of Buckfast and some other alcoholic drinks.

This allows officers to trace bottles associated with crime back to the store from which they were purchased.

However, Buckfast's distributor believes the practice is illegal and discriminates against its brand.

Lawyers for J Chandler & Co will ask a judge to find that Strathclyde Police has unlawfully encouraged retailers to label bottles of Buckfast or withdraw the product from sale.

It is not clear what evidence they will present in court.

If the case is deemed competent by a judge, the police will be summoned to respond.

The force said: "We haven't received any summons yet and as such we are unable to comment."

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