Alcohol campaign toasts early success

Councillor Jim McCabe, Supt John McTear and John Lee of SGAIP.
Councillor Jim McCabe, Supt John McTear and John Lee of SGAIP.

A campaign to tackle the number of adults in North Lanarkshire who buy alcohol for under 18s has detected 44 offences so far this summer.

The campaign is jointly co-ordinated by the Scottish Government Alcohol Industry Partnership (SGAIP), the North Lanarkshire Community Safety Partnership and Police Scotland.

Of these 44 offences, 38 related to adults attempting to purchase alcohol for under 18s and six were licensed premises reported for selling alcohol to proxy purchasers.

The majority (70 per cent) of those caught buying alcohol for under 18s were male, while 60 per cent of the under 18s trying to obtain alcohol were female.

The offences took place in Motherwell (11) and Wishaw (33).

Pavement graffiti is now in place at locations where proxy purchasers have been caught to deter adults from buying alcohol for under 18s.

Sentences and fines will be decided as soon as each case is processed by the Scottish Courts.

Buying alcohol for anyone under the age of 18 is a criminal offence which carries a fine of up to £5,000 or up to three months in prison, or both.

Police Scotland are upping patrols in areas where proxy purchase is known to take place, as the crack-down on alcohol purchases for under 18s continues.

John Lee, chairman of the SGAIP Campaigns Group, said: “We’re already seeing the impact of the campaign throughout North Lanarkshire.

“Over the next few weeks, we’ll continue to raise awareness of the consequences to help reduce the number of attempted alcohol purchases for under 18s.”

Inspector Alistair Anderson at Police Scotland said: “Those who are asked to buy alcohol for under 18s need to be aware of the consequences of their actions and know that we are cracking down on attempted purchases.

“We know where these purchases take place and will be increasing patrols in these areas. Underage drinking contributes to antisocial behaviour, crime and violence in our local communities and will not be tolerated.”

Councillor Jim McCabe, leader of North Lanarkshire Council and chairman of the North Lanarkshire Partnership Board, said: “The pavement graffiti is a very visible way of highlighting the campaign message that people trying to buy alcohol for under 18s are being targeted by police.

“It’s an innovative approach to a common problem, and lets people know we won’t tolerate proxy buying.”

The campaign will run in North Lanarkshire until the end of summer and learnings and successes from this trial will shape future campaigns across Scotland.

For more information visit Don’t Ask For It