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Alcoholic Drinks: Young People

Volume 508: debated on Wednesday 24 March 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many retailers have been prosecuted for selling (a) alcohol and (b) cigarettes to minors in England in each year since 2005; and if he will make a statement. (323633)

I have been asked to reply.

The number of defendants proceeded against at magistrates courts in England for ‘sale of, or allowing the sale of, alcohol to a person aged under 18' and ‘sale of tobacco to underage persons' in England from 2005 to 2008 (latest available) can be viewed in Tables 1 and 2.

Court proceedings data for 2009 will be available in the autumn of 2010.

Table 1: Number of defendants proceeded against at magistrates courts for sale, or allowing the sale, of alcohol to a person under 181, England, 2005-082, 3

Number

2005

997

2006

1,084

2007

630

2008

412

1 Data include the following offence descriptions and corresponding statutes: Selling etc. intoxicating liquor to person under 18 for consumption on the premises—Licensing Act 1964 S. 169 A and B as added by Licensing (Young Persons) Act 2000 S. 1 Licensing (Occasional Permissions) Act 1983 S.3 (Sch. Para. 4(1)). Sale of alcohol to person under 18—Licensing Act 2003 S. 146. Allowing sale of alcohol to person under 18—Licensing Act 2003 S. 147. Wholesaler selling intoxicating liquor to a person under 18—Licensing Act 1964 S. 181A(1) as added by Licensing Act 1988 S. 17. Persistently selling alcohol to children—Licensing Act 2003 S. 147A as added by Violent Crime reduction Act 2006. 2 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. 3 The statistics relate to persons for whom these offences were the principal offences for which they were dealt with. When a defendant has been found guilty of two or more offences the principal offence is the offence for which the heaviest penalty is imposed. Where the same disposal is imposed for two or more offences, the offence selected is the offence for which the statutory maximum penalty is the most severe. Source: Justice Statistics Analytical Services—Ministry of Justice.

Table 2: Number of defendants proceeded against at magistrates courts for selling tobacco to underage persons, England, 2005-081, 2, 3

Offence description

Statute

2005

2006

20073

2008

Sale of tobacco etc. to persons under 16 years

Children and Young Persons Act 1933, section 7, as amended by Children and Young Persons (Protection from Tobacco) Act 1991

77

69

67

117

1 The statistics relate to persons for whom these offences were the principal offences for which they were dealt with. When a defendant has been found guilty of two or more offences the principal offence is the offence for which the heaviest penalty is imposed. Where the same disposal is imposed for two or more offences, the offence selected is the offence for which the statutory maximum penalty is the most severe. 2 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 police forces and the 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. 3 The Children and Young Persons (Sale of Tobacco etc.) Order 2007 raised the age of sale from 16 to 18 on 1 October 2007. These figures are included in the table. Source: Justice Statistics Analytical Services—Ministry of Justice.