Eight off-licenses in the area have been issued with distinctive (not to mention biodegradable) plastic bags, the shop name and address plastered on them. The idea is that, should cops find the tell-tale signs of addled adolescents in the wild, with a bit of Sherlock Holmes deductive technique they'll be able to trace the vendor and give them a good talking to. And, hopefully, a fine. Should the scheme prove successful it may be rolled out wider across the borough and on to other parts of London.
The idea comes from Sgt David Conyers, who is fed up of the "appallingly high" number of alcoholic drinks he and his men seize from children. Presumably it's the usual alcopops and all that kind of undrinkable tosh to boot, which the officers can't even keep safe until the Christmas party. Or have things changed since Londonist's teen drinking days, and are the kids on harder stuff now?
Anyhow, we can think of a few loopholes to be exploited here. When the kids cotton on to what's happening, surely they'll just take along a generic blue plastic bag and stash the ill-gotten goods inside? Or maybe this will backfire and the young'uns will just pour whole bottles of hooch down their throats the minute they get their grubby mitts on them, lest the cops come and spoil their fun.
Last but not least - what happened to that Mediterranean drinking culture we've long been promised? Targeting the symptoms of teen drinking, rather than the cause, may prove helpful in the short term, but it's unlikely to shift Britain's reputation as one of the most piss-happy nations in Europe.
Image of WKD bottle from orangeacid's Flickrstream