Robust Action Against Proxy Sales

A new campaign is being launched during 18th-24th October by Safer North Devon to highlight the problem of proxy sales - where an adult (parent, sibling or friend) buys alcohol on behalf of young people.

The campaign was developed after it was noticed by police officers on the frontline that more and younger children were being found with or under the influence of alcohol on our streets and in public places.

A survey was carried out with young people aged 15-16 across North Devon and Torridge and when asked where they obtained their alcohol the majority said at home.

A number of young people then brought that alcohol out onto the streets. Proxy sales currently run at 20% compared with sales made directly to young people from off and on licensed (hotels and pubs) premises which are currently 7% and 4% respectively.

LISTEN HERE: Pc Paul Dew talks about Proxy sales and the reason behind the campaign

Buying alcohol for under 18’s is against the law. Police will take robust action and you will face a £5,000 fine and criminal record. Posters alerting adults to the consequences of proxy sales are going into Barnstaple off licenses during Alcohol Awareness Week and will then be displayed in off licenses across the rest of North Devon and Torridge in the run up to Xmas.

LISTEN HERE: Londis Nisa manager Karen Best

As part of Alcohol Awareness Week 70,000 leaflets produced by Safer North Devon, in conjunction with local supermarkets, are also being proactively distributed by the supermarkets to anyone buying alcohol. The leaflets raise awareness of the consequences of alcohol in the home. The leaflet will help the community by getting alcohol awareness messages into homes, and help reach victims and those in need.


Anyone can report a proxy sale, suspected proxy sale or alcohol-related crime to Devon and Cornwall Constabulary on 08452 777444 or anonymously to Crime Stoppers on 0800 555 111.