Page last updated: August 22, 2013

Alcohol Concern report - Underage teens buy alcohol online

A report by Alcohol Concern Cymru suggests children and young people in Wales are turning to online supermarket grocery services in order to buy alcohol.

The report, ‘On your doorstep’, highlights findings from a Wales-wide survey of minors aged between 14 and 17 years old. 15% of the respondents who had previously bought or attempted to buy alcohol for themselves or someone else, had successfully purchased alcohol via the internet, the majority of whom regarded it as “easy” to do so and an effective way to bypass age verification checks.

Alongside the survey, in March 2013 South Wales Police undertook a test purchase operation in Cardiff with 15 year-olds, to find out whether they were able to buy alcohol from major supermarket grocery websites.

It found that alcohol could be bought online from these sites with relative ease, by simply agreeing to the website terms and conditions, and being in possession of a debit card and email address. In 44% of the test cases, alcohol was then handed to the underage test purchasers in person without any requests for proof of age, despite published supermarket policies which state they will not deliver to under 18s.

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