Oswestry’s Community Alcohol Partnership warns young people against trying to buy alcohol when underage
A Shropshire Council led project, the Oswestry Community Alcohol Partnership (Os-CAP), which aims to tackle underage drinking in the town, is warning young people against using fake or fraudulent IDs to obtain alcohol.
Trading Standards, West Mercia Police and Oswestry traders have been working together to prevent underage sales. Oswestry traders have been encouraged to “ask for ID, check ID and seize suspect ID”. Any young person who looks 25 years or younger who is attempting to buy alcohol is asked to prove that they are at least 18 years of age.
All licensed premises have been offered training which shows them how to check cards to make sure they are genuine and not being used fraudulently. Members of staff have the power to seize the document if they believe it to be fake or the person in possession of it to be underage.
Frances Darling, Shropshire Council’s safer and stronger communities service manager, said:
“We have been working hard with the retail and pub trade and supporting them in asking young people to prove their age. We have supplied them with application forms to offer young people so that they can apply for PASS accredited proof of age cards as well as showing them how to spot fake cards. We have also been tackling proxy purchasing, where adults buy on behalf of underage people, with our ‘don’t pass it on’ scheme. Adults are reminded that it is an offence to buy alcohol on behalf of an underage person. Doing so could result in a fine up to £5,000.”
PC Mark Moth, Local Policing Officer for Oswestry West, added:
“We often hear of young people using documents belonging to their older family members in order to purchase alcohol. Since May 2011, we have been running a document seizure scheme, in conjunction with town centre licensed premises, where members of staff can seize documents if they believe they are being used in this way. The seized document is brought to the police station and returned to the relevant governing body. The original owner then has to apply for a duplicate item, which will incur a cost to them. To date, the scheme has been very successful with over 80 items being seized so far.”
Councillor Vince Hunt, Chair of OsCAP, said:
“This partnership has shown what can be achieved when we all work together in a co-ordinated way. Providing details of fake IDs, proxy purchasing and underage sales attempts highlights the important contribution that traders bring to the partnership. By monitoring the intelligence that the various partners hold, resources can be directed to where they are most needed.”
Notes to editors
For more information about PASS, visit www.pass-scheme.org.uk.
When the licensing legislation changed in 2010, Government Minister, James Brokenshire MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Crime Prevention made the following statement:
“The Government wholeheartedly supports the Proof of Age Standards Scheme (PASS), and would encourage all retailers to accept it as proof of age. Young people are rightly concerned about taking their passport with them on a night out, due to the risk of theft or loss, and they require a reliable document in order to prove their entitlement to purchase age-restricted goods. I am keen to reassure retailers that accepting a PASS hologram card which carries the bearers image and acceptable date of birth is due diligence, and can be accepted with confidence.”
This was followed by a statement from Chief Constable Jon Stoddart, Licensing Lead, Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO):
“The Proof of Age Standards Scheme (PASS) has ACPO’s full support as a vital tool in helping to reduce underage drinking and the associated harms to individuals and society. PASS gives young people a convenient means of proving their age and offers retailers a reliable means of ensuring that they are exercising due diligence at the point of sale. ACPO advises against the practice of carrying valuable ID such as passports for alcohol related purchases; if lost or stolen such documents can be of use to criminals as well as causing inconvenience and expense to those who have to replace them.”