Police warn of crackdown on underage drinking at Links Market
Police have launched a campaign to curb underage drinking in the Linktown area of Kirkcaldy in the run up to the town’s annual Links Market.
The You’re Asking for It campaign aims to tackle the practice of adults buying alcohol for young people they know are underage, also known as “proxy purchasing”.
Underage drinking has been highlighted by local elected members as a concern for the Kirkcaldy community.
The roll out of the You’re Asking for It project comes on the back of a successful pilot in Burntisland last year.
It launched in June, just before the start of the school summer holidays, and residents reported a drop in the amount of underage drinking taking place in the town over the summer months.
The initiative was developed by the Scottish Alcohol Industry Partnership (SAIP) and Scottish Government with Police Scotland and representatives from North Lanarkshire Council.
The first successful pilot scheme ran in Motherwell and Wishaw in 2015, followed by Leith in 2016.
Last year it was rolled out across North Lanarkshire where it is still having a positive impact.
The campaign in Linktown will seek to educate members of the public that it is an offence to buy or attempt to buy alcohol for a young person.
It also aims to make people under 18 aware that to buy or attempt to buy alcohol is illegal.
Although its main aim is education, it also lets culprits know that, where necessary, the relevant legislation will be enforced.
And any person found committing any of the offences will be reported to the Procurator Fiscal, which could result in a three-month prison sentence and/or a £5000 fine.
Police Sergeant Jimmy Adamson, of Kirkcaldy’s community policing team, said: “We know that antisocial behaviour causes distress to local residents and this can often be exacerbated the consumption of alcohol.
“Antisocial alcohol consumption has also been an issue at previous Links Markets and we are eager to challenge this behaviour at this year’s event.
“You’re Asking for It was a great success when it launched in Burntisland and it is hoped that this achievement will be replicated in the Links Street area.
“We will be engaging with members of the local community to ensure they understand relevant legislation that prevents the purchase of alcohol for under 18s.
“I would also remind members of the public that it is a criminal offence to buy, or give alcohol, to a young person.
“We will be working with premises to ensure they enforce the Challenge 25 policy and ask for age verification when selling alcohol to anyone who looks under 25.”
Cllr Gordon Langlands, whose ward covers both Burntisland and Linktown, said: “Although there has only been one prosecution in Burntisland, it has certainly made traders and people being asked to buy alcohol for youngsters more aware of the consequences of their actions.
“Underage drinking, which was a big problem, seems to have quietened down in the town and hopefully it will have a similar effect in Kirkcaldy.”