A new initiative has been launched by St Helens Council’s Trading Standards and Merseyside Police involving the use of stencilled warning messages sprayed on pavements outside of local businesses selling alcohol.
The warning message is designed to deter would be ‘proxy purchasers’ of alcohol and explains that buying alcohol for someone under the age of 18 is a criminal offence committed by the purchaser, which can lead to a criminal conviction and hefty fines from the courts.
The initiative is in response to concerns from Trading Standards and Merseyside Police over the growing number of reports they are receiving about adults buying alcohol for young people from local shops.
Alongside the sprayed message on the pavement, shops will be given advice by Trading Standards on how to spot proxy sales and provided with signage to display in store.
St Helen’s Council Cabinet Member for Green, Smart and Sustainable Borough, Councillor Seve Gomez-Aspron said: “While adults who do this must know it is wrong, the pavement stencil is a good method of making it 100 per cent clear what the law is and what will happen to them if they get caught buying alcohol for under 18s.
“Under 18s gaining access to alcohol often results in damaging anti-social behaviour in our communities. I hope that the message acts as a strong reminder to adults to just say no!”
If you see an adult buying alcohol and then passing it to someone who looks under 18, you can report it anonymously to Trading Standards via the Citizens Advice Consumer helpline on 03454 04 05 06.