The Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) has welcomed proposed changes to the way that magistrates deal with alcohol-related offences.

It was responding to proposals in the Sentencing Council’s consultation on guidelines for alcohol sale offences.

The consultation looks at the guidance that magistrates are provided when deciding on the appropriate sentencing for alcohol related offences committed by retailers, such as the sale of alcohol to people under 18 and selling alcohol to people that are intoxicated.

ACS chief executive James Lowman said: “The proposed guidelines are an important step forward in ensuring that sentencing for alcohol sale offences is fair and proportionate.

“Alcohol is an important category for the convenience sector and retailers take their responsibilities in preventing the sale of alcohol to those underage or intoxicated very seriously.

“Many retailers are often the victims of verbal and physical abuse when refusing the sale of alcohol, so we need to ensure that the justice system also supports retailers doing their job.”