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Communities That Care monitor underage alcohol sales

Published: 13 April 2016

More than one in three Cardinia Shire bottle shops did not request any identification before selling alcohol to someone who looked under 18 years old.

The results were found by a joint Communities That Care and Victoria Police study into the sale of alcohol to underage youth in the shire.

As part of the investigation a person aged over 18, but who looked underage, tried to buy alcohol from a number of bottle shops in Cardinia Shire. Of the bottle shops checked, 40 per cent did not check identification.

Council has since contacted all shops involved in the study. The study was supported by Deakin University, Victoria Police and funded by a grant from the Victorian Department of Justice and Regulation.

Communities That Care facilitator Amy Moore said it was a disappointing result but the shops involved could now improve as needed.

“It was disappointing to see that such a high percentage of stores didn’t check the ID of someone who looked under 18 years old. Our studies have shown that secondary school aged youth are consuming alcohol and so the sale of alcohol to underage youth is a serious concern,” she said.

“We have contacted all the bottle shops we visited, including the few who sold the alcohol, to provide advice and support to improve their policies and procedures.”

“Council and Victoria Police are committed to working together to reduce alcohol harm in Cardinia Shire.”

Deakin psychology professor John Toumbourou said there were serious dangers in providing alcohol to underage youth. There is support for youth in Cardinia to become a ‘smart generation’ by not damaging their brains with alcohol.

“Recent surveys found 36 per cent of young people in Cardinia Shire were using alcohol at age 14. When asked where they obtain their alcohol they commonly reported getting it from home, but in some cases from bottle shops,” Professor Toumbourou said.

All secondary schools in Cardinia Shire have been invited to participate in the Communities That Care Smart Generation project through providing education to both students and parents. Currently two schools have committed to the project.

For more information contact the Communities That Care facilitator on 1300 787 624.