Campaign launched to reduce sale of alcohol to under 18s

Agents who purchase alcohol on behalf of under 18s are being targeted in a year-long crackdown on underage drinking which started Tuesday 8 December 2008.

Thirty off-sales in the north of Glasgow are participating in the campaign, led by Glasgow Community and Safety Services (GCSS), which aims to reduce the sale of alcohol to under-18s and decrease related incidents of antisocial behaviour.

Campaign posters warning of a £1000 fine for purchasing alcohol on behalf of under-agers are going on display in participating off-sales in Maryhill, Springburn and Saracen, areas which have been identified through CCTV, police evidence and a recent Glasgow-wide survey, The Ripple Effect, which looked into the effects of alcohol in the community.

Off-sales involved in the campaign will be provided with guidelines, a refusal book, and access to a telephone network to help staff work together and be vigilant about the sale of alcohol to under 18s.

These stricter guidelines and targeted monitoring will run alongside a drive to divert local young people to a wide variety of activities in their local area.

GCSS runs a range of prevention and diversionary activities targeted at young people involved in, or on the fringes of, offending and antisocial behaviour. During the campaign GCSS will be expanding its deployment of youth services in these areas to include not only Footie STUFF, mobile street football, and the state-of-the-art STUFF media bus, but also Urban STUFF, a new mobile gaming studio.

These services will run alongside those of our partner agencies and include sports and fitness, dance, computer gaming, drama, music and creative arts.

Phil Walker, Managing Director of Glasgow Community and Safety Services said,

"We are taking a proactive and targeted approach to the issue of under-age drinking in our communities and a key element of this campaign will be to encourage young people to get involved in a range of activities in their community.

"We want to reassure the majority of the community that we're here and that we're committed to the issues that concern them. But we also want to send a word of warning to the minority that cause problems in the community that there are people out there ready to deal with those issues too.

"By working together with our communities, and our partners, we can create a cleaner, better and safer place to live."

The off sales campaign follows on from a similar initiative in Greater Govan earlier this year which resulted in a reported decrease in attempts to purchase alcohol on behalf of under 18s and a significant decrease in key antisocial behaviour indicators during this period. This included an 80% reduction in street drinking and a 50% reduction in drunk and incapable incidents from the previous year.