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Press release 2023

25 July 2023

Community safety minister, police, Police Scotland Youth Volunteers, representatives from Scottish Alcohol Partnership Industry, Scottish Green Grocer Federation, Community Alcohol Partnership and The Scotch Whisky Association


A successful campaign to deter young people accessing alcohol has been seen in action by Scottish Government Victims and Community Safety Minister Siobhian Brown MSP.

She was visiting the latest roll-out in her home constituency of Ayr to see how the education and enforcement campaign works. 

The “It’ll Cost You’ Campaign is delivered in partnership by the Scottish Alcohol Industry Partnership, Police Scotland and Community Alcohol Partnerships.

The event at the Asda Superstore in Ayr demonstrated the unique partnership working between the alcohol industry, retailers, Community Alcohol Partnerships and the police in tackling underage drinking and youth disorder. 

Asking an adult to buy alcohol for under 18s is one of the most common tactics used by young people to access alcohol. It’s an offence in Scotland for an adult to buy or attempt to buy alcohol for someone who is under the age of 18. This is known as proxy purchase. Adults who buy alcohol for children may face a fine of up to £5,000. The campaign raises awareness of the damaging effects and criminal nature of buying alcohol for under 18s.

Government Minister for Victims and Community Safety Siobhian Brown said:

“ I am delighted to meet partners behind the ‘It’ll Cost You’ campaign and see it being delivered on the ground. The campaign helps to create safer communities for all and is a great example of partnership working to help tackle underage drinking.”

Superintendent Claire Dobson Police Scotland 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. 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.”

Polly Jones,  Head of Corporate Affairs – Scotland, Asda said:

“Asda is pleased to be supporting the ‘It’ll Cost You’ proxy purchase campaign. As a responsible retailer we want to play our part in reducing underage drinking and anti-social behaviour.”

Luke McGarty, Scottish Grocers’ Federation, added:

“The success of initiatives such as Challenge 25 have helped reduce the number of direct sales of alcohol to under 18s, but young people are increasingly accessing alcohol by other means. Asking an adult to buy alcohol for them is one of the most common tactics used. The It’ll Cost You campaign helps to tackle this.”

Grahame Clarke, Community Alcohol Partnership Advisor for Scotland, said:

 “Proxy purchase continues to be a challenge across Scotland. This campaign highlights the dangers and penalties that can result from adults buying alcohol for young people.”

Community Safety Minister with 2 youths from Police Scotland Youth VolunteersCommunity Safety Minister with 2 Youths from Police Scotland Youth Volunteers holding "It will Cost You" leaflets

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