Campaign proves an effective deterrent

Inspector Alistair Anderson, Police Scotland youth volunteers Alanna Ferguson and Alanah Prentice, and Scotmids Ian Lovie
Inspector Alistair Anderson, Police Scotland youth volunteers Alanna Ferguson and Alanah Prentice, and Scotmids Ian Lovie

The ‘You’re Asking for It’ campaign is proving an effective deterrent to adults thinking about buying alcohol for youngsters.

Police Scotland reports anti-social behaviour has reduced by six per cent, reports of street drinking in public places has reduced by 55 per cent, and youth disorder incidents are down seven per cent.

The campaign, which runs in North Lanarkshire until the end of September, has led to 32 detections of proxy purchasing.

The project is driven by the Scottish Alcohol Industry Partnership, Police Scotland and North Lanarkshire Community Safety Partnership.

Local retailers are also playing a key role, by helping to identify proxy purchase hot spots in communities.

Inspector Alistair Anderson said: “We are pleased to see a reduction across the board of crimes and incidences linked to underage drinking.

“The 55 per cent reduction of reports of drinking in public places is particularly encouraging. While the campaign can’t take all of the credit for these results, it most certainly has contributed to these positive stats.

“The evidence appears to be clear that kids are not getting alcohol easily and it is having a positive impact on North Lanarkshire.

“By limiting the amount of alcohol in the community, we will see less street drinking offences. However kids are increasingly clever with how they obtain alcohol and I urge everyone to be vigilant.”

Police Scotland youth volunteer Alanna Ferguson (15) added: “You’re Asking for It’ is a good idea. Teenagers get themselves and grown-ups into trouble by trying to buy alcohol.

“A lot of people have seen the adverts so hopefully they’ll think twice before buying alcohol, or asking someone to get it for them.”

The campaign builds on an award-winning pilot initiative in Wishaw and Motherwell in 2015 and seeks to drive home the message that buying alcohol for those underage can lead to a fine, prison sentence or both.

Among the retailers backing the campaign is Scotmid, its licensing and compliance manager Ian Lovie said: “Scotmid is pleased to be actively involved in this campaign which I believe delivers a powerful message and this partnership approach should encourage other areas to tackle the issues associated with underage drinking.

“Speaking from a retailer’s perspective, having this framework and support is invaluable. It is very difficult to identify when proxy purchases occur.”