The "Do Us a Favour…?" poster campaign - which aims to target adults who buy alcohol for under 18s and also off licences - is now being extended to cover East Dunbartonshire.
This extension of the campaign - which has previously operated in Glasgow City, East Renfrewshire, West Dunbartonshire, Argyll and Bute and Inverclyde - is a joint initiative between NHS Greater Glasgow, NHS Argyll and Clyde and Strathclyde Police.
Nikki Boyle, Alcohol Health Promotion Officer with NHS Greater Glasgow, explained: "Alcohol use amongst young people is a huge problem in East Dunbartonshire and it's being made worse by older people obtaining drink for youngsters.
"The aim of this campaign is to reduce the number of adults buying alcohol for under 18s by reinforcing the message that it is against the law and that anyone doing it risks a fine of up to £1,000. The campaign also aims to remind off licence staff that they have legal responsibilities and obligations around this."
Nikki went on: "In a recent study, we found that an average of 27% of East Dunbartonshire youngsters aged between 12 and 15 get their alcohol from an older person.
"Young people's drinking in the area is on the increase and that raises a number of concerns about the detrimental effect alcohol has on their health. There's also a lot of concern amongst several East Dunbartonshire communities about public disorder and anti-social behaviour caused by drunken teenagers."
Sub Divisional Officer for East Dunbartonshire, Superintendent Andrew Bates, of Kirkintilloch Police Office,commented: "Alcohol misuse is a factor in many incidents where young people are either the victims or perpetrators of crime, and this can have a long-lasting impact upon them and their families.
"Young people are particularly at risk from the effects of alcohol misuse, so I am delighted to support this campaign which aims to educate young people of the dangers associated with under-age drinking.
"However, while it is important that we alert young people to the dangers of alcohol misuse it is also important that we educate the adults who mistakenly believe that they are doing young people a favour by agreeing to purchase alcohol on their behalf. The truth is that by doing so, they are committing a criminal offence and my officers will continue to enforce this legislation as part of our ongoing strategy to deal with antisocial behaviour in East Dunbartonshire."
Councillor Tom Smith, Chairman of the East Dunbartonshire Community Safety Partnership, added: "This is an excellent scheme and is a good example of trying to prevent alcohol misuse by young people.
"If adults and off-licence staff behave responsibly, the whole community can tackle this issue and minimise harm to young people.
"This initiative runs alongside the successful Pubwatch scheme we have developed in East Dunbartonshire and should see a real reduction in alcohol misuse by our young people.This will benefit their health and also benefit the wider community."
NOTES TO EDITORS:
·62% of 13yr olds and 85% of 15yr olds report as having had a proper alcoholic drink
·20% of 13yr olds and 40% of 15yr olds report having drunk alcohol in the week prior to the survey
·Of those who reported having had an alcoholic drink, 14% of 13yr olds and 33% of 15yr olds reported usually drinking once a week
·boys report an average of 13 units over a week while girls report an average of 10 units over a week
·the average amount of money spent by those who report spending on alcohol is £8 per week
·the most commonly reported kinds of alcohol consumed were alcopops (57%), spirits or liquers (55%), beer, lager or cider (43%)
·15% of 13-15yr olds buy alcohol from a friend or relative
·10% of 13-15yr olds buy alcohol from someone else