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Don't do it! Highland adults warned of criminal risks of buying alcohol for under 18s

By Philip Murray

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Alcohol seized from underage youths during a past police crackdown. The new campaign is targetting those who buy the alcohol for under 18s.
Alcohol seized from underage youths during a past police crackdown. The new campaign is targetting those who buy the alcohol for under 18s.

A CRACKDOWN on underage alcohol consumption is setting its sights on the adults who illegally buy the drinks for them.

The new "It'll Cost You!" campaign has been launched by police, councils and brewers and retailers and is aimed at highlighting the damaging effects and very real criminal nature of buying alcohol for under 18s.

Asking an adult to buy alcohol for under 18s is one of the most common tactics used by young people to access alcohol. But it's an offence, known as 'proxy purchase', for an adult to buy alcohol for under 18s.

Adults who buy alcohol for children may face a fine of up to £5000. You could also be jailed up to three months and wind up with a criminal record.

And, after a series of successful pilots which saw incidents of children drinking on the street more than half, and youth disorder incidents cut by 10 per cent in one area, the awareness campaign is being rolled out nationally.

Proponents say the the pilots in Lanarkshire, Edinburgh and Glasgow, had a marked effect on anti-social behaviour.

More crime news.

Police Scotland's Superintendent Claire Dobson, said: “It’ll Cost You” is a really important campaign that looks to address the various risks to young people associated with them gaining access to alcohol.

"The collaborative approach is aimed at reducing the harm caused by the sale or purchase of alcohol to anyone under the age of 18 including health, wellbeing and the number of youth-related offences that occur, particularly during school holidays and weekends and reflects the joint commitment of all agencies involved to keep young people safe from harm.

"Please remember, that buying alcohol for those who are underage is a criminal offence and could result in a fine, a prison sentence, or both.”

Minister for victims and community safety, Siobhian Brown, said: “I welcome the latest “It’ll Cost You” campaign helping to create safer communities for all.

"The results of the pilot, and the 2022 national campaign to tackle underage drinking and youth disorder, show what can be achieved through strong collaborative working in communities.

“The Scottish Government is committed to protecting young people and children from harm – who are particularly vulnerable to the effects of alcohol, whether drinking themselves or being impacted by the consumption of others. Of course, underage drinking can also cause short and long term harm to health and introduce young people to dangerous situations."

Luke McGarty, Scottish Grocers’ Federation, added: "Previous experience with the campaign has shown the benefits to local communities when we work across sectors to tackle the issue of alcohol harm. We look forward to working with the campaign over the coming summer months.”

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