Crackdown on drink buying for minors

Image source, Police Scotland
Image caption,
The 'You're asking for it' campaign has been running in North Lanarkshire throughout the summer

A campaign to stop adults buying alcohol for under-age teenagers in North Lanarkshire is being credited with cutting crime and public drinking.

A police operation in June, involving shopkeepers and youth volunteers, uncovered 32 cases of so-called proxy purchasing and led to two arrests.

Police Scotland data suggested since then the number of people drinking in public places was reduced by 55%.

Officers also reported fewer complaints about youth-related disorder.

In Scotland, people face a fine of up to £5,000 or even a prison sentence for buying alcohol for people under 18.

'Jump in'

The 'You're asking for it' campaign is an effort involving the Scottish Alcohol Industry Partnership, Police Scotland and North Lanarkshire Community Safety Partnership.

Insp Alistair Anderson, of Police Scotland, told BBC Radio's Good Morning Scotland programme the issue was known locally as "jump in".

He said this was where young people approached a stranger going into a shop and asked them to buy alcohol for them.

"This project came about because we listened to the community and they were telling us this was a problem," he said.

"On top of that, there's concerns about the vulnerability of children and the risk of harm to them being exposed to alcohol."

Project volunteer Alana Prentice admitted young people put pressure on adults to get them alcohol.

"If the adult doesn't get them it then they might steal it or get it a different way," she said.

Mr Anderson said the project was about education, engagement and enforcement.

"If we can get the first two right, then enforcement won't be a big factor for us," he said.

The campaign is to run until the end of September.

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