An operation has taken place in Rugeley to highlight the serious issue of adults buying alcohol for under 18s.Officers from Cannock Chase Council, Staffordshire Police, Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service and Staffordshire Trading Standards took part in the operation on Friday 24 July and carried out observations in 3 areas of Rugeley.
As part of this operation a total of 8 off licenses in the 3 different areas were visited.Both small and large groups of young people were found and alcohol was seized from youngsters aged 15 to 18 years that were within these groups.Issues were identified in a number of the off licenses including a proxy sale. Follow up visits will be made by the Licensing and Trading Standards team to address these issues.
The operation forms part of an ongoing enforcement initiative which raises awareness of proxy sales and highlights the dangers adults are putting young people in by giving them alcohol. Officers will also fine or prosecute off licenses caught making a proxy sale.
Information about Proxy Sales
Tackling proxy purchasing is vital if we are to stop youngsters accessing alcohol. Adults who buy alcohol on behalf of someone under 18 need to know that they are committing a criminal offence, which could have consequences for young people and the entire community. Off-licenses must be aware that proxy purchasing is illegal and ensure they are doing all they can to prevent it and fulfil their duties as a responsible retailer.
Buying alcohol for a person under 18 is an offence under the Licensing Act 2003. When young people misuse alcohol it can lead to serious physical and psychological harm and puts that person in a more vulnerable position meaning they could become a victim of crime. Regular misuse of alcohol could also lead to long term problems with alcohol dependency.
Buying alcohol for youngsters is irresponsible and illegal. If an adult is caught purchasing alcohol for someone under 18, they could receive a fixed penalty notice and be fined up to £5,000.
A promotional campaign is being launched - targeting adults, parents and off licenses and will challenge purchasing behaviour. Posters will be displayed in off licenses across Rugeley highlighting the affects alcohol can have on young people. Useful tips will also be issued to off licenses to prevent them from partaking in a proxy sale.
This initiative has been funded by the Police and Crime Commissioner's Locality Deal Fund and Chase Community Partnership.
Download a copy of the campaign material below.
Last Updated: 02/09/2020