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Labour table proposals that could outlaw Buckfast

The party wants a legal limit imposed on the amount of caffeine in alcoholic drinks which they say are linked to violence.

Buckfast was mentioned by Strathclyde Police in 5000 crime reports over three years.
© STV

Caffeinated alcohol drinks such as Buckfast could be outlawed under amendments to the Scottish Government's controversial Alcohol Bill that have been put forward by Labour.

The party wants a legal limit imposed on the amount of caffeine in alcoholic drinks which they say are linked to violence.

Their proposal is contained within tabled amendments to the legislation currently being considered at Holyrood.

Labour health spokeswoman Jackie Baillie said: "I believe that the risks involved in consuming caffeinated alcohol are so great that the Scottish Government must take action.

"The research suggests that you are more likely to end up in hospital or be assaulted if you drink these products."

It emerged earlier this year that the drink, brewed by monks in Devon, was mentioned by Strathclyde Police in 5000 crime reports over three years.

During that period, Buckfast bottles were used as a weapon 114 times, leading police to say there is an association between Buckfast and violence.

Labour wants to set the caffeine limit at 150mg per litre, which would effectively remove Buckfast from shops unless the content is reduced from 375mg per litre.

Ending "irresponsible" price-based advertising of alcohol and introducing Alcohol Treatment and Testing Orders to help offenders address their behaviour are also outlined in Labour's amendments.

Ms Baillie said: "These amendments are credible and evidence-based. They will help to make our communities safer, protect shop staff and reduce the level of alcohol abuse in Scottish society."

The centrepiece of the Bill, which is receiving a stormy passage through the Scottish Parliament, is the SNP's plan to drive up the price of cheap alcohol by introducing a 45 pence minimum price per unit of alcohol.

The measures have won widespread support from health professionals but are opposed by opposition parties. Labour claim it is a tax on the poor and will generate a windfall of around £140m for supermarkets.

Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon said the Scottish Government would examine Labour's amendments positively, but questioned whether some of Labour's proposals were "within the scope of the Bill".

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