New Year resolutions make responsible retailing priority

Licencees throughout UK adopt new policies to fight under-age sales

Spar Scotland owner CJ Lang is to introduce a Challenge 25 policy

from March 1 to make it easier for staff to prevent under-age sales.

The move follows an initiative which saw senior company directors serve behind the counter in the run-up to Christmas.

Participating director

Chris Endersen

said: "We can see that it can be intimidating to face confident and mature-looking youths who attempt to purchase alcohol. It is, therefore, paramount that staff are trained to remain vigilant and to have robust procedures to detect and prevent potential under-age sales. It is also critical for us to support them as they bear the brunt of this policing."

The company's 2,000 staff will be retrained and company procedures will be redrafted before March. All senior managers have already been through the Servewise training programme.

Off-licences in Storrington, West Sussex, are

refusing to serve anyone aged under 21.


drinks shops are displaying posters

outside and in-store

to inform customers of the new policy

and to tell them about the fines for proxy purchases.

Neighbourhood Specialist Team Sergeant Darren Lillywhite,

of Sussex Police, said: "Under-age alcohol purchasing is a serious problem and we hope

addressing it in this way will discourage any young people from using fake identities or proxy purchasing. I hope we can look forward to a dramatic improvement in crime and anti-social behaviour in the area."

Northumbria Police is tackling alcohol fuelled anti-social behaviour with its Enough is Enough campaign.

Officers in Gateshead are working with off-licences to mark beer cans and wine bottles with ultra-violet pens, and in Sunderland 60 drinks shops have joined up to

Challenge 21 . South Tyneside police are carrying out high-profile patrols to seize alcohol from under-18s found drunk.