Stencilled pavement signs to stop proxy purchasers in their tracks

Community Alcohol Partnership (CAP) partners in Sutton-in-Ashfield in Nottinghamshire have come up with a novel way of deterring adults from buying alcohol on behalf of under-18s – by painting warnings on pavements outside off licences. A stencilled wine bottle with the warning: “Buying for an U18? It’s an offence” will be applied on pavements outside off licences using chalk paint, which fades over time. It is hoped that the signs will act as a deterrent to would-be proxy purchasers by highlighting that it is an offence to purchase alcohol on behalf of an under 18.

The CAP has also produced leaflets pointing out that adults may face a L90 fixed penalty fine or an unlimited fine if they go to court for the offence.

Sergeant Martin Severn, who co-ordinates the Sutton-in-Ashfield CAP, said: “ We believe that reminding people at the point at which they may be asked to buy for an underage person will be very effective and make people think about the whole issue.”

Councillor Tony Page, the Local Government Association’s licensing spokesman commented that the stencil was an innovative way of drawing attention to a serious issue and said: “Retailers have taken positive steps to prevent direct sales to underage drinkers but incidents where adults are buying alcohol for young people have increased. Many are unaware of the law around this and the LGA is pleased that Sutton CAP is bringing the issue to public attention in this innovative way.”

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