Northamptonshire Police have launched a three-month proxy-purchasing campaign, with the aim of reducing incidents of anti-social behaviour and alcohol-harm in young people.
Proxy purchasing is where adults buy alcohol on behalf of an underage person.
Police want to raise awareness of the fact that the purchase of alcohol for children is illegal, with a fine of up to £5,000 if prosecuted in a court of law. Officers also have the power to issue on-the-spot fines of £90 if somebody is caught buying alcohol for a young person.
According to Department of Health statistics, 36 per cent of all crimes committed by people under the age of 18 take place while the perpetrator is under the influence of alcohol. Young people who begin drinking before the age of 15 are four times more likely to develop alcohol dependence than those who start drinking at 21.
Alcohol plays a big part in anti-social behaviour, crime and violence.
Over the coming weeks, officers will be patrolling hot-spot areas where young people congregate and will be raising awareness of the dangers of underage alcohol consumption.
They will also be encouraging retailers to adopt a policy not to sell alcohol when there is any doubt about a person s age and to display statutory signs and deterrent posters.