Clamping down on proxy purchasing

Inspector Alistair Anderson and Scotmid’s Ian Lovie with youth volunteers

POLICE Scotland is targeting adults purchasing alcohol for underage children in North Lanarkshire this month as part of its ongoing ‘You’re asking for it’ campaign.

The campaign, which runs until the end of this month, is already said to have led to 32 detections of adults purchasing alcohol for under-18s, with Police Scotland reporting a 55% reduction in reports of street drinking in public places.

This month’s drive to nab adults purchasing alcohol for underage children is in response to what Police Scotland claims is a recent uptick in under-18s accessing alcohol by asking an adult to buy it for them, as initiatives such as Challenge 25 have reduced the number of direct sales of alcohol to under-18s.

While the campaign is a partnership project between Police Scotland, the Scottish Alcohol Industry Partnership and North Lanarkshire Community Safety Partnership, local retailers were also praised for playing a key role, by helping to identify the proxy purchase hot spots in their communities.

Alistair Anderson, Motherwell and Wishaw area inspector, said: “We are pleased to see a reduction across the board of crimes and incidences linked to underage drinking.

“The 55% 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 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 in their communities to be vigilant to help us continue to tackle the issues.”

Ian Lovie, licensing and compliance manager for Scotmid, commented on the scheme: “Scotmid is pleased to be actively involved in this campaign. I believe it delivers a powerful message.”