Adults buying booze for kids face £5k fine or jail

Adults who buy alcohol for children in North Lanarkshire are asking for a fine of up to £5,000 or a jail term.

The uncompromising message is being hammered home by a campaign driven by the Scottish alcohol industry, Police Scotland and North Lanarkshire Community Safety Partnership.

The “You’re asking for it” campaign is launching throughout North Lanarkshire to tackle underage drinking, antisocial behaviour, crime and violence and builds on an award-winning pilot 2015 initiative Motherwell and Wishaw.

Parents, retailers and the wider community are being encouraged to support the scheme by reporting suspected proxy purchases - where adults by drink for under-18’s.

The campaign will run throughout the school holidays until mid-September.

It achieved the Police Scotland National Excellence Award as being the project that made the “greatest contribution to policing priorities” in 2015.

The partnership project will also involve local retailers in their communities.

The impact of the 2015 pilot is said to have contributed to a 30 per cent fall in violence across the area.

Antisocial behaviour reduced by 13 per cent and alcohol-related youth disorder fell by 21 per cent, and there were 53 per cent fewer street drinking offences.

Divisional Commander for Lanarkshire Division, Chief Superintendent Roddy Irvine said: “Underage drinking plays a huge part in antisocial behaviour, crime and violence in our local communities and it is important that we work together to tackle the problem and make our communities safer.

“Please support us in keeping our children safe and play your part in ensuring that your community is not ‘asking for it’”.

North Lanarkshire Council leader Jim Logue said: “Reducing alcohol sales to under 18’s has a significant impact on local communities, helping to improve safety, tackle crime and antisocial behaviour, and improve health among young people.

“This campaign sends a very clear message to adults that buying alcohol for young people is not acceptable and anyone caught faces a fine or prison sentence.”