02 December 2009>
The Safer Caerphilly Community Safety Partnership is launching a crackdown on adults who purchase alcohol on behalf of under-18s.
Caerphilly County Borough Council's Trading Standards and Gwent Police are running the 'proxy purchasing' campaign. It aims to inform and educate people that it is illegal to purchase alcohol on behalf of under-18s, and there are severe penalties for those that do so.
A study conducted for responsible drinking campaigners The Portman Group, found that almost one third of adults questioned had been asked to buy alcohol on behalf of someone under the age of 18. Shockingly, of those who had been asked, over one third admitted to buying alcohol for someone under 18.
The survey also found one in four adults who admitted to buying alcohol for someone under 18 said they did not know it was an offence, and almost seven out of ten people questioned said they did not know you could receive an £80 fine for buying alcohol for someone under the age of 18.
Cllr Lyn Ackerman, cabinet member for the environment said, "Tackling proxy purchasing of alcohol is vital if we are to stop alcohol getting into the hands of youngsters.
The vast majority of licence holders in our county borough strictly uphold their legal responsibilities to prevent the sale of alcohol to children; therefore young people now appear increasingly to go about getting alcohol by other means, such as by proxy purchase, where a young person may approach an adult outside a shop and ask them to go and buy some alcohol for them.
However those that agree to buy alcohol on behalf of young people need to know that they are committing a serious offence, which can have consequences for the entire community. This campaign aims to highlight just that."
Caerphilly Partnership Inspector Alan Webber, said: "When we confiscate alcohol from under-18s, they often tell us that an adult has supplied them with it. By educating adults of the legal implications of supplying under-18s with alcohol, we hope that they will act responsibly. Often when young people drink alcohol, they go on to take part in anti-social behaviour. This obviously affects local communities and I would appeal to adults to think about the many consequences that underage drinking can pose and not to buy alcohol for young people."
Informative publicity materials are currently being distributed to off licences throughout the county borough, to be displayed prominently as a warning and a deterrent to people that if they do decide to purchase alcohol on behalf of under 18s, they will be liable for a fine of up to £5,000.
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