Page last updated at 12:19 GMT, Thursday, 19 June 2008 13:19 UK

Under 21 booze ban is 'good news'

The pilot scheme has been operating in Falkirk for the last two months

A pilot scheme banning the sale of alcohol to people under the age of 21 in Falkirk has cut anti social behaviour complaints almost by half.

Figures published by Central Scotland Police show that two months into a six month trial, 24 complaints were made.

That figure compares with 45 complaints for the same period last year.

The ban, which began on 1 April, is operating in stores in the Larbert and Stenhousemuir areas on Friday and Saturday evenings.

During the same period, the force said two stores were reported for selling to those under age and four people have been charged for purchasing alcohol for those under 18.

Local Seargent, Ian Williamson, said the pilot scheme was cutting drink related anti-social behaviour.

He added: "We have noticed there has been a marked decrease in the number of calls we have received relating to anti-social behaviour.

"This is obviously linked to the fact that it is more difficult for those under age to get alcohol from their local shops.

"That is good news for the local community."

The Scottish Government began a consultation this week on plans to increase the minimum age from 18 to 21 for those wishing to buy alcohol in off-licences.

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