News item

Minister praises proof of age scheme

Home Office minister James Brokenshire offered glowing praise of the industry schemes that target alcohol-related problems when he spoke at the Responsible Drinks Retailing Conference in London on 10 November.

'Can I say at the start that I recognise the complex nature of the problems that we face in our communities. For me, there are a number of different ways to respond and to deal with the problems of the late night economy in certain communities, and indeed some of the challenges we have around alcohol more generally....

'Secondly, I want to recognise pubwatch and the proof of age standards scheme (PASS). Again, these organisations aren’t controlled by central Government but they have had an impact in reducing alcohol-related crime and disorder. I’ve met with both of these organisations only recently and I’ve been impressed with the patience shown by those leading these schemes to work with other partners and both local and central Government in order to reduce the problems that can be caused by alcohol. I was particularly impressed by the commitments shown by the PASS board to increase the awareness and take up of the scheme among members of the trade and young people themselves....

'I know that responsible retailers don’t sell alcohol to children and I understand that it’s sometimes difficult to judge the age of young people. That’s why I am supportive of the Proof of Age Standards Scheme; although supported by the Home Office and ACPO, it is administered by representatives of the alcohol trade and has enabled young people to be able to purchase age-restricted good without having to produce their passport or driving licence.'

Mr Brokenshire's speech in full (PDF 55KB)