Tag bottles to cut proxy sales’?

07 January, 2011

Scottish Labour has urged licensing boards to make off-licences tag bottles with individual codes in a bid to prevent proxy sales.

Under the scheme, which was introduced by Tayside Police and Dundee City Council in the Stobswell area of Dundee last month, off-licences are given a unique code to mark on bottles so they can be traced back to a specific store.

The Scottish Labour party said it wanted to roll out the tagging idea into “hot spot” areas to help crack down on under-age drinking and antisocial behaviour.

If under-age drinkers are found by police with a tagged bottle, it said, CCTV footage could be used to identify who bought the alcohol.

abour’s community safety spokesman James Kelly said: “Under-age drinking can all too often be a direct cause of antisocial behaviour in communities across Scotland.

“This innovative but simple approach will hopefully help bring to justice those peddling booze to young people.

“People who supply alcohol to young people need to realise what they are doing is not only breaking the law, but all too often is fuelling antisocial behaviour that makes other people’s lives a misery.

“The SNP may be happy to turn a blind eye to antisocial behaviour, but Labour is not. I urge licensing boards to adopt this new approach to hammer home the message that supplying the under-aged with alcohol is never acceptable and will not be tolerated.”?A Scottish government spokeswoman said: “The Scottish government has always supported and encouraged the police to make use of bottle tagging in its fight against under-age drinking. As an intelligence-led tool, it can help forces crack down on the problem by proving that certain shops are selling alcohol to under-18s.

“Bottle tagging remains an operational matter for police, often deployed during targeted exercises against under-age drinking.

However, we would caution against the blanket deployment of this measure to ensure it remains effective.”

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