Un­der-age drink­ing curb aim of ini­tia­tive

Mak­ing Wishaw safer place

Wishaw Press - - FRONT PAGE - Ross Thom­son

An award- win­ning cam­paign pi­loted in Wishaw is be­ing rolled across North La­nark­shire in a bid to curb un­der-age drink­ing, an­ti­so­cial be­havu­our and vi­o­lent crime.

The You’re Ask­ing For It ini­tia­tive in Wishaw and Mother­well saw vi­o­lence drop­ping by 30 per cent, an­ti­so­cial be­hav­iour re­duced by 13 per cent and al­co­hol-re­lated youth dis­or­der re­duced by 21 per cent.

By lim­it­ing the amount of al­co­hol in the com­mu­nity, the public re­ported 53 per cent less street drink­ing of­fences.

Di­vi­sional com­man­der for La­nark­shire, Chief Su­per­in­ten­dent Roddy Irvine, said: “Un­der­age drink­ing plays a huge part in an­ti­so­cial be­hav­iour, crime and vi­o­lence in our lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties and it is im­por­tant that we work to­gether to tackle the prob­lem and make our com­mu­ni­ties safer.

“Please sup­port us in keep­ing our chil­dren safe and play your part in en­sur­ing that your com­mu­nity is ‘not ask­ing for it”’.

Mother­well and Wishaw’s pi­lot achieved the Po­lice Scot­land Na­tional Ex­cel­lence Award as be­ing the project that made the “great­est con­tri­bu­tion to polic­ing pri­or­i­ties” in 2015.

Coun­cil leader Jim Logue said: “Re­duc­ing al­co­hol sales to un­der 18s has a sig­nif­i­cant im­pact on lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties, help­ing to im­prove safety, tackle crime and an­ti­so­cial be­hav­iour, and im­prove health among young peo­ple.

“This cam­paign sends a very clear mes­sage to adults that buy­ing al­co­hol for young peo­ple is not ac­cept­able and any­one caught faces a fine or prison sen­tence.”

John Lee, head of pol­icy and public af­fairs, Scot­tish Gro­cers Fed­er­a­tion and chair­man of the SAIP Cam­paigns Group said: “We know that tack­ling un­der­age drink­ing by tar­get­ing adults who buy al­co­hol for un­der 18s is suc­cess­ful, as proven in our pre­vi­ous cam­paigns in Mother­well, Wishaw and Leith. By run­ning this new cam­paign across the whole of North La­nark­shire we hope to help re­duce crime, an­ti­so­cial be­hav­iour and noise in the area and, most im­por­tantly, re­duce the num­ber of hospi­tal ad­mis­sions for young peo­ple.”

Of­fi­cers will work along­side part­ner agen­cies to max­imise aware­ness that it is not ac­cept­able to pur­chase al­co­hol for chil­dren.

Po­lice Scot­land will also de­ploy of­fi­cers to ad­dress the is­sue and ac­tively tar­get hotspot lo­ca­tions.

Par­ents, re­tail­ers and the wider com­mu­nity have been encouraged to sup­port the cam­paign by re­port­ing sus­pected proxy pur­chase.

The cam­paign will run through­out the school hol­i­days un­til mid Septem­ber.

Cam­paign launched Chief Su­per­in­ten­dent Roddy Irvine, coun­cil leader Jim Logue and John Lee from the Scot­tish Gro­cers Fed­er­a­tion

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