Chief Constable Peter Fahy backs minimum drink price

Image caption,
Chief Constable Peter Fahy said a minimum price would hit excessive drinkers

Calls to introduce a minimum price for the sale of alcohol in Greater Manchester have been backed by the region's chief constable.

The Association of Greater Manchester Authorities wants to create a by-law to make it illegal to sell alcohol for less than 50p per unit in the region.

David Cameron publicly backed the plans on Wednesday.

Chief Constable Peter Fahy said people needed to be aware of "the huge impact that alcohol abuse has on everything".

Under the local councils' proposals, drinkers in the region would have to pay at least £6 for a six-pack of lager and £4.50 for a standard bottle of wine.

The plans are designed to cut down on excessive drinking and improve people's health.

Mr Fahy said: "If you actually look at the research it does say there are two things that make the biggest difference - that is the price and the availability of alcohol."

'All suffer'

He added: "We all suffer the impact of alcohol abuse - the impact on policing, the impact on the health service and the impact on things like anti-social behaviour."

He said a minimum price would allow people to drink "reasonable amounts" but would "particularly hit those who are buying huge amounts and would hopefully try to deal with the issue of supermarkets discounting and leading to lots of local pubs closing".

On Wednesday, the prime minister said there needed to be a crack down on shops selling alcohol at "below-cost" prices, to stop town and city centres "resembling the wild west" in evenings because of drink-fuelled disorder.

He said the government would look at Greater Manchester's proposals "very sympathetically".

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