TRADING standards are clamping down on adults who sell booze to under age drinkers.

Test purchases have seen undercover teens buy alcohol in one in five cases so far this year compared with almost double the amount three years ago.

And it seems the Hampshire retailers are now wising up to the consequences of selling alcohol to minors.

Hampshire shops sold less booze to kids than the national average during a month long sting in the summer, new figures show.

During the government's alcohol misuse enforcement campaign, which ran from May to June, Hampshire Trading Standards were able to buy alcohol in seven out of 48 attempts, or 15 per cent.

Nationally the figures for the off-licence trade, including supermarkets, was 21 per cent.

In pubs and bars, one in three children (29 per cent) were able to buy alcohol.

Hampshire trading standards manager Phil Thomas admitted so-called proxy sales, where adults buy for children, were still a problem.

But he warned: "Adults and parents need to be aware that if they appear to purchase on behalf of a child they are committing a criminal offence and can be prosecuted."

An adult buying or attempting to buy on behalf of someone under 18 can face a fine of up to £5,000, Mr Thomas said.

Trading Standards is preparing to launch a pilot education campaign on responsible retailing in Fareham.

The leader of Hampshire County Council, Councillor Ken Thornber, said: "We are determined to tackle under age drinking, which blights some of our communities.

"This is why random test purchases are carried out across the county to check that retailers are complying with the law. Businesses selling alcohol must take responsibility for their part in helping prevent incidents of anti-social behaviour often associated with underage drinking.

"Only then can we work towards making our neighbourhoods safe, secure and attractive places that people wish to be."

The Daily Echo's Keep Kids Sober campaign is encouraging adults and parents - as the main source of alcohol for younger children - to take a more active role in teaching kids about the consequences of alcohol and to think before supplying them with drink.

To find out more about our campaign or to download a poster visit

Or to request a free poster e-mail: