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Monday, 26 June 2017

Campaign launched to stop adults buying alcohol for children in North Lanarkshire

Written by The Press Association

A campaign has been launched in an effort to stop adults buying alcohol for children in North Lanarkshire.

You're Asking For It will run throughout the region to tackle underage drinking, antisocial behaviour, crime and violence.

It builds on a scheme in Wishaw and Motherwell which saw violence dropping by 30%, antisocial behaviour reduced by 13% and alcohol-related youth disorder reduced by 21%. The public reported 53% fewer street drinking offences.

The divisional commander for Lanarkshire Division, Chief Superintendent Roddy Irvine, said: "Underage drinking plays a huge part in antisocial behaviour, crime and violence in our local communities and it is important that we work together to tackle the problem and make our communities safer. Please support us in keeping our children safe and play your part in ensuring that your community is 'not asking for it'".

North Lanarkshire Council leader Jim Logue said: "Reducing alcohol sales to under 18s has a significant impact on local communities, helping to improve safety, tackle crime and antisocial behaviour, and improve health among young people. This campaign sends a very clear message to adults that buying alcohol for young people is not acceptable and anyone caught faces a fine or prison sentence."

Motherwell and Wishaw's pilot achieved the Police Scotland National Excellence Award as being the project that made the "greatest contribution to policing priorities" in 2015.

The partnership project between Scottish Alcohol Industry Partnership (SAIP), Police Scotland and North Lanarkshire Community Safety Partnership will also involve local retailers in their communities.

John Lee, head of policy and public affairs at the Scottish Grocers Federation and chairman of the SAIP Campaigns Group, said: "We know that tackling underage drinking by targeting adults who buy alcohol for under 18s is successful, as proven in our previous campaigns in Motherwell, Wishaw and Leith. By running this new campaign across the whole of North Lanarkshire we hope to help reduce crime, antisocial behaviour and noise in the area and, most importantly, reduce the number of hospital admissions for young people."

The campaign is responding to intelligence that under 18s are increasingly accessing alcohol by other means, such as asking an adult to buy it for them.

Initiatives such as Challenge 25 have reduced the number of direct sales of alcohol to under 18s.

Officers will work alongside partner agencies to maximise awareness that it is not acceptable to purchase alcohol for children.

Police Scotland will also deploy officers to address the issue and actively target hotspot locations.

Parents, retailers and the wider community have been encouraged to support the campaign by reporting suspected proxy purchase.

The campaign will run throughout the school holidays until mid-September.

Copyright (c) Press Association Ltd. 2017, All Rights Reserved. Picture (c) Dave Cheskin / PA Wire.