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Police Scotland campaign launches to tackle youth street drinking

Image: Police Scotland

Buying alcohol for children could leave you facing a fine or jail time.

That’s the stark message of a campaign running across this summer in collaboration with retailers, alcohol companies and Police Scotland.

Evaluations of the previous “It’ll Cost You!” campaigns have shown a steady increase in awareness about the implications of supplying alcohol to minors, but it remains a serious issue with 18 detections being made during the course of last year’s campaign.

It is an offence in Scotland for an adult to buy or attempt to buy alcohol for someone who is under the age of 18. This is known as proxy purchase and can result in a fine, imprisonment or both.

The “It’ll Cost You!” campaign is a collaboration between Police Scotland, the Scottish Alcohol Industry Partnership and Community Alcohol Partnerships aims to raise awareness of the damaging effects and criminal nature of buying alcohol for under 18s.

This year’s campaign will run from 1 July to 12 August across Scotland.

Superintendent Joanne McEwan, Police Scotland, said: “This campaign showcases the benefits of key partners working together to inform the public of dangers associated with underage drinking, as well as the criminal consequences for supplying those under 18 with alcohol.”

Luke McGarty, Chair of the SAIP Campaigns Group and Head of Policy and Public Affairs, Scottish Grocers Federation, said: “Proxy purchasing is not an easy crime to detect and retailers are the first line of defence in reducing underage drinking and anti-social behaviour linked to alcohol. The “It’ll Cost You!” campaign fits perfectly with SGF’s position of promoting responsible community retailing. We look forward to continuing to work with our partners on the campaign again this year.”

Grahame Clarke, Community Alcohol Partnership Coordinator, said: “The campaign gives us an opportunity to spread the "It’ll Cost You!" message in local communities, highlighting the dangers of buying alcohol for young people. We look forward to working with Police Scotland and the Police Scotland Youth Volunteers to make sure that this messaging is carried through all our engagement activity this summer.”

Siobhain Brown MSP, Minister for Victims and Community Safety, said: “I welcome the return of a campaign that successfully illustrates the value of strong collaboration and regular engagement between partners, which help to deliver shared aims to help reduce underage drinking and anti-social behaviour in our communities.”

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