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2023 Campaign Update

6 July 2023

Police Scotland Youth Volunteers with staff and Police officer displaying It will Cost you leaflet outside shop

Following on from last years successful campaign, this years campaign kicked off on Monday 5th June 2023. The “It’ll Cost You” campaign to deter adults buying alcohol for minors was developed by the Scottish Alcohol Industry Partnership, Police Scotland and Community Alcohol Partnerships.  Like last year the campaign is being carried out nationally.

Asking an adult to buy alcohol for under 18s is one of the most common tactics used by young people to access alcohol. The Licensing (Scotland) Act 2005 states that it is an offence for a person to “act as an agent for a child in purchasing or attempting to purchase alcohol”. This is also known as proxy purchase.

Police Scotland's Superintendent Claire Dobson from Partnerships Preventions and Community Wellbeing Division said:

“It’ll Cost You” is a really important campaign that looks to address the various risks to young people associated with them gaining access to alcohol.

The collaborative approach is aimed at reducing the harm caused by the sale or purchase of alcohol to anyone under the age of 18 including health, wellbeing and the number of youth-related offences that occur, particularly during school holidays and weekends and reflects the joint commitment of all agencies involved to keep young people safe from harm.

Please remember, that buying alcohol for those who are underage is a criminal offence and could result in a fine, a prison sentence, or both.”

Government Minister for Victims and Community Safety Siobhian Brown said:  “I welcome the latest “It’ll Cost You” campaign helping to create safer communities for all. A key objective of the Licensing (Scotland) Act 2005 is the protection of children and young people from harm. The results of the pilots, and the 2022 national campaign to tackle underage drinking and youth disorder, show what can be achieved through strong collaborative working in communities.”

“The Scottish Government is committed to protecting young people and children from harm – who are particularly vulnerable to the effects of alcohol, whether drinking themselves or being impacted by the consumption of others. Of course, underage drinking can also cause short and long term harm to health and introduce young people to dangerous situations.

Luke McGarty, Scottish Grocers’ Federation, added “Tackling underage drinking and anti-social behaviour linked to alcohol is one we support and ties in with SGF’s position of promoting responsible community retailing. Previous experience with the campaign has shown the benefits to local communities when we work across sectors to tackle the issue of alcohol harm. We look forward to working with the campaign over the coming summer months.”

Grahame Clarke, Community Alcohol Partnership Advisor for Scotland, said: “Community Alcohol Partnerships (CAP) Scotland are delighted to be a partner in focussed activity in each of our CAP areas.  The campaign gives us an opportunity to carry the "It’ll Cost You" resources and messaging in local communities, highlighting the dangers of buying alcohol for young people.

"We look forward to working with Police Scotland and the Police Scotland Youth Volunteers to make sure that this messaging is carried through all our engagement activity this summer.” 

Police officers, supported by Police Scotland Youth Volunteers,  have been engaging with licensed premises as well as attending events, gala days and carrying out pop up events within their local communities.  Police Campus Officers for schools have also been educating pupils about the penalties adults face if they carry out a proxy purchase. Officers have also been working alongside retailers and  holding pop up events at supermarkets to increase awareness of the campaign.

.  Police officer with two pop up banners with information about it will cost you and community alcohol partnership.

Police Scotland Youth volunteers have been working across the country to promote the campaign, delivering information to licensed premises as well as attending events.  They have also been using the pavement stencils to increase the awareness of proxy purchase to the public in a bid to reduce proxy sales. 

5 photos of police youth volunteers with campaign material and pavement stencils.

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