A 15-year-old Runcorn boy has bravely shared his experience and asks adults to say ‘no’ if they are asked to buy alcohol on behalf of under 18s.
The fifteen year old, who was in Runcorn Town Centre, with a group of friends, decided to ask a passer-by if he would go into a shop to buy alcohol on his behalf.
The white male, described as about five foot nine, aged between 40 and 50 with a bald head, agreed. The fifteen year old told the man that he didn’t know what alcohol to ask for – the man took the £5 and bought the boy 3L of strong cider.
A few hours later, after drinking all of the cider, the fifteen year old was found collapsed in the street. He was suffering from alcohol poisoning and hypothermia.
This youngster was lucky because he was found by a couple walking their dog who phoned for an ambulance, which meant that he received the treatment that he needed.
He realises how close he came to a life threatening situation and how easily the night could have taken a tragic turn.
The fifteen year old has spoken to Halton Trading Standards about his experience so that other young people won’t end their evening in an unwanted ambulance ride home – or worse.
A spokesperson for Halton Borough Council Trading Standards said: “For many years we have worked with Cheshire Police, our Community Safety colleagues and local businesses to reduce the sale of alcohol to under 18s and together we have been successful.
“It is more difficult for shops to prevent the sale of alcohol to proxy purchasers – adults who buy on behalf of under 18’s. We need the community to help us too.’
Buying alcohol for under 18s is a criminal offence. If you are approached by a young person asking you to buy alcohol, say no. Please let the shop know that you were asked to proxy purchase. ‘
Halton Borough Council’s Executive Board Member for Trading Standards, Clr Cllr Dave Cargill, said ‘Halton has many responsible retailers and together we are determined to tackle the issue of proxy purchasing because of the damage that alcohol does to our young children.
“If you have any information about the underage sale of alcohol or proxy purchasing you can report it to Trading Standards, anonymously if you wish, by leaving a voice message on our Trading Standards Hotline, 0151 511 8787.”