My brother, Adrian, has a letter in The Times today (here). It reads:
I regret that the Chief Medical Officer has got it wrong on the pricing of alcohol if the experience in this area is replicated elsewhere. Most of the alcohol consumed by young people in these parts is shoplifted rather than bought. Cost is in this case quite irrelevant as displayed by the fact that most of the bottles smashed on the roads and pavements, or littering local gardens are of premium lager brands.
The local youth, both male and female brag about their prowess at distraction thefts, often from supermarkets at night or early morning with only skeleton staff in attendance and intimidation theft at convenience stores where only one, often young, female shop assistant is in attendance. These are often unreported as owners are reluctant to bring the spotlight of the enforcement agencies down upon their premises.
Surely the solution is to limit the sale of alcohol to those premises that have secure alcohol storage facilities and dedicated staff to supervise them, rather than every corner shop and even the local petrol station.
St Blazey, Cornwall
It reminded me of the situation in the states, where liquor is sold in special shops with the appearance of armouries.