A new campaign has been launched in North Lanarkshire to reduce the number of adults who buy alcohol for under 18s.
The Scottish Government Alcohol Industry Partnership (SGAIP), North Lanarkshire Community Safety Partnership and Police Scotland are working with local retailers to raise awareness that buying alcohol for under 18s is a criminal offence which carries a fine of up to £5,000 and/or up to three months in jail.
John Lee, chairman of the SGAIP Campaigns Group, said: “Initiatives such as Challenge 25 have helped reduce the number of direct sales of drink to under 18s, but young people are increasingly accessing alcohol by other means.
“Asking an adult to buy alcohol for them is one of the most common tactics. This campaign will raise awareness of the serious consequences of buying alcohol for anyone under the age of 18 to help reduce underage drinking.”
By raising awareness of the consequences of proxy purchase, the campaign aims to reduce the number of attempted purchases, crimes, antisocial behaviour and noise and the number of hospital admissions for under 18s with alcohol related injuries.
Superintendent John McTear at Police Scotland said: “During the summer we expect to see more young people congregating. Most are perfectly well behaved, however some may consume alcohol and then engage in disorder.
“We will target operations where we know proxy purchases take place, to reduce attempted purchases of alcohol for under 18s.”
North Lanarkshire Council leader and North Lanarkshire Partnership board chairman Councillor Jim McCabe said: “By tackling underage drinking, we’re also reducing antisocial behaviour and improving local communities for our residents.”