Alcohol buys are being breathalysed in Cardiff

Photo credit: South West Police

By George Watkins

Two branches of Spar in Cardiff city centre are breathalysing customers wanting to purchase alcohol, in a scheme designed to limit the sale of it to anyone already drunk.

The shops, which sit on Queen Street and St Mary Street, are using the procedure as part of a wider crackdown on public drunkenness and anti-social behaviour in the city centre, part of the larger Operation Purple Ash.

The locations of the stores are key, due to their proximity to the Castle and the main shopping areas, where thousands of tourists pass on a daily basis.

It has received criticism from a number of areas, with members of staff complaining about abuse from customers when refused their sale.

South Wales Police’s divisional commander for Cardiff, chief superintendent Belinda Davies, noted that there has been a rise in “complaints from visitors, residents and businesses” about anti-social behabiour associated with alcohol in the area. Eighteen people have been arrested since the operation started, with some of these arrests regarding drunk and disorderly behaviour.