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Alcohol: Prosecutions

Volume 467: debated on Tuesday 13 November 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people were prosecuted for selling alcohol to minors in (a) Hertfordshire and (b) Dacorum in each of the last five years. (163417)

The information requested on persons proceeded against for selling alcohol to persons under 18 years in each of the last five years in Hertfordshire is provided in the attached table. Information on prosecutions in Dacorum is not available as the data is not held at that level of detail.

In addition to court proceedings, the offence of sale of alcohol to a person under 18 can attract a penalty notice for disorder (PND). The offence was added to the PND scheme on 1 November 2004. No PNDs were issued in Hertfordshire in November and December 2004 and three were issued in 2005. Data for 2006 will be available in November 2007.

The results of the national Tackling Underage Sales Enforcement Campaign (TUSAC), during which 2,683 premises were targeted by police and trading standards officers during a 10-week campaign between 4 May and 13 July 2007, show that in nearly 9,000 test purchase operations children were only able to obtain alcohol in 14.7 per cent. of cases.

In 2004, the overall test purchase failure rate was 50 per cent. In 2006, it had dropped to 20 per cent. In this latest and more targeted campaign it now stands at 15 per cent. overall.

Whereas earlier enforcement campaigns were conducted on a random sample of premises, good and bad, this campaign targeted premises known to problematic. A further reduction in the failure rate is therefore particularly encouraging.

Number of defendants proceeded against at magistrates courts and found guilty at all courts for selling alcohol to underage customers, Hertfordshire police force area 2001-051,2,3

Proceeded against

Found guilty

2001

2002

1

2003

1

2004

8

6

2005

3

1

1 These data are provided on the principal offence basis.

2 Covers the offences: Selling etc. intoxicating liquor to person under 18 for consumption on the premises under the Licensing Act 1964 s. 169 A and B as added by Licensing (Young Persons) Act 2000 s.1, Wholesaler selling intoxicating liquor to a person under 18 under the Licensing Act 1964 s.181 A(1) as added by Licensing Act 1988 s.17, Sale of alcohol to a person under 18 under the Licensing Act 2003 s. 146 and Allowing Sale of alcohol to a person under 18 under the Licensing Act 2003 s. 147. Sections 146 and 147 of the 2003 Licensing Act only came into effect from 24 November 2005, so data prior to 2005 are not available.

3 Every effort is made to ensure that the figures presented are accurate and complete. However, it is important to note that these data have been extracted from large administrative data systems generated by the police forces and courts. As a consequence, care should be taken to ensure data collection processes and their inevitable limitations are taken into account when those data are used.

Source:

RDS—Court proceedings database—Office for Criminal Justice Reform—Ministry of Justice