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Edinburgh Police have launched a ‘Don’t Ask For It’ campaign, advising people not to buy alcohol on behalf of underage youngsters. Divisional licensing officers and community policing teams will be visiting licensed premises across the city offering advice and guidance on how to spot and prevent proxy sales to under 18s.

Chief Inspector David Happs from St Leonard's Police Station said: "We are committed to keeping young people in our community safe from harm. The 'Don't Ask For It' campaign raises awareness of underage drinking and the consequences.

Alcohol can put young people in situations which increase the risk to their safety. In addition, many incidents of youth-related anti-social behaviour we respond to come as a result of those involved being under the influence of alcohol.

We want young people to make positive life choices and I believe we all have a duty to support them and work together to achieve this.

“I would urge parents and guardians of all young people to discuss the dangers associated with underage drinking with their children."

Here are some tips on how to prevent a proxy sale:

- If you see an adult in your shop asking the child what alcohol they want, or if the child’s behaviour suggests the alcohol is for them, then you should refuse the sale.

- Try as far as possible to monitor what is happening outside your store - especially young people hanging around. If you see what looks like an adult being asked to buy alcohol by a young person or group of young people, then you should refuse the sale to that person.

- If it appears that one member of the group is purchasing alcohol for the whole group, you should ask the whole group for identification to prove their age. Unless they all have identification to prove their age you should refuse to serve them.

This innovative partnership is an excellent example of how public bodies, charities and private companies can work together to resolve a community problem. Not only have the partners contributed to the success of the project but also the youngsters of Brecon, whose involvement and commitment have also contributed to this success.

Councillor John Powell
Cabinet Member for Trading Standards
Powys County Council

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