In Brief

Shops breathalyse alcohol buyers in Wales

The initiative is part of an operation to cut alcohol-related crime in the Welsh capital

alcohol-pricing.jpg

Shopkeepers have been armed with breathalysers by police for the first time in Britain in a crackdown on street drinking.

The crackdown in Cardiff “comes after a rise in complaints from shocked tourists about drunken behaviour on the streets,” says The Sun.

Now two Spar shops in the Welsh capital are testing shoppers to make it easier to refuse to serve drunk people.

Rohat Hamed, 40, who has been a shop manager for eight years, told The Times that the device had curbed the problem. “We've used it hundreds of times — we just grab it and if anybody who tries to buy alcohol looks drunk we tell them to blow into it,” she said.

“Some people have given us abuse when we use it because they must think that they’re above the law.”

The breathalysers were initially lent to shopkeepers for a trial by South Wales Police. They were then allowed to buy them from the force.

Rohat said: “We ended up buying it from the police for £200 because we have got a lot of problems here when people are buying alcohol from elsewhere and congregating around this area.”

“We're getting blamed when it's got nothing to do with us.”

“We're actually doing the police's job - it's not our job, we never serve anybody in here who's drunk.”

South Wales Police have revealed that 40 alcoholic drinks have been seized and 18 people have been arrested since the operation began just under two weeks ago.

Chief Superintendent Belinda Davies said: “Such unruly behaviour by those intoxicated can prove intimidating, unpleasant and unwelcoming to those visiting or working in the area.”

The initiative was part of Operation Purple Ash which aims to help vulnerable people on the street while taking action against troublemakers.

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