Off-licences and shops in Croydon will be asked not to sell alcohol to under-21s under a new scheme supported by Boris Johnson.

During Mayor's Question Time yesterday the mayor announced that the voluntary initiative will start in Croydon and could then spread across London, as revealed in this week's Croydon Guardian.

He said separate boroughs should decide whether to impose the restrictions, which would leave 18, 19 and 20-year-olds unable to buy alcohol despite being leaglly entitled to do so.

Mr Johnson said the plans could tackle binge drinking by young people, underage drinking and antisocial behaviour.

"Where we have got particular problems in particular areas, off-licences and supermarkets should stop the sale of alcohol to the under-21s," he said. "That is the kind of solution that I think Londoners are looking to us to provide. I do think this is something where the boroughs can take a lead and banish the scourge of binge drinking."

Croydon Council will now try to get licensees to back the scheme.

Meninder Parmer, manager of the Wine Spot in Waddon Road, said she would back plans to stop the sale of alcohol to under-21s.

But she said teens who really want to drink will get it from somewhere and could ask older adults to buy it for them.

"We don't sell alcohol to underage people and if that could go up to under-21s we would support it," she said. "We can try our best but people who really want to drink will still have means to do it.

"The scheme would help stop some people drinking though."

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