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Ten pubs and one shop in Ribble Valley have been told to get their house in order after falling foul of a Christmas crackdown on under-age drinking. And a further blitz on under-age purchase of alcohol in the borough is on the cards for the coming months.

The Ribble Valley Community Alcohol Partnership (CAP) launched a Christmas crackdown on under-age drinking and adults attempting to buy alcohol for young people, known as ‘proxy purchasing’. And 11 premises have received special training after they failed to ask young test purchasers for proof of age.

Licensed premises have to use the Check 25 system to ensure drinkers are over 18, but 10 out of 20 Ribble Valley pubs and one shop tested over the festive period failed to request identification proving the purchaser was old enough to buy alcohol.

The partnership, comprising Ribble Valley Borough Council, Lancashire Trading Standards, the police, health sector, schools and local businesses, aims to tackle alcohol-related harm to young people by reducing the sale of alcohol to them, advising them on the dangers of drinking and promoting alcohol-free activities.

Ribble Valley councillor and partnership chairman Robert Thompson said: “Drinking alcohol brings serious risks to children and puts them in danger of physical and social harm. They are far more likely to injure themselves or someone else, fail to reach their potential at school and engage in anti-social behaviour. While great progress has been made in reducing the sale of alcohol to the under-18s via the Challenge 25 scheme, unfortunately 10 pubs and one shop failed test purchases over Christmas. All the premises concerned have taken part in self-funded training aimed at preventing future under-age sales and told to get their house in order. We are working hard to raise awareness of this issue and under-age sales or proxy purchasing will not be tolerated during the festive season or any time of the year. We will be undertaking further test purchases over the coming months and where necessary offering further training.”

A UK survey in 2014 revealed that 38 per cent of 11 to 15 year olds in England drank alcohol, with four per cent claiming to drink alcohol at least once a week and a further five per cent saying they drank it once a fortnight.

Community Alcohol Partnerships have enjoyed considerable success across the country tackling underage drinking with a mix of education, enforcement, community engagement and the provision of diversionary activities for young people.


Further details are available from Ribble Valley Borough Council’s communications unit on 01200 414483 or 07971 978766.

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Alcohol-related violence has fallen – but it is clear that alcohol misuse has a significant impact on young people and their communities across the country and partnerships such as this are an effective way to tackle this issue. Easy access to alcohol can sometimes put young people at greater risk of dangers. CAPs play a vital role in bringing key stakeholders together to tackle underage drinking, helping to keep young people and communities safe.

Dame Vera Baird QC
Victims Commissioner

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