We have recently raised to £80 the fine issued under fixed penalty notice for buying alcohol for those under 18. The Licensing Act 2003 will increase the maximum fine for purchasing alcohol for a minor from £1,000 to £5,000, as well as the maximum fine for selling alcohol to children.
I welcome the provisions in the new Act, but as my hon. Friend will know, in parts of my constituency real problems of crime and disorder have been caused by people purchasing alcohol for youngsters, usually in return for a share of the proceeds. Can my hon. Friend assure me that she will monitor the new provisions carefully and ensure that the police and trading standards officers have enough resources to tackle the problem? Will she also monitor the fines issued by the courts to ensure that they are sufficient to deter those who are caught from offending again?
My hon. Friend has raised an important point about those who, on behalf of young people, go into licensed establishments such as bars, and let us not forget off-licences, supermarkets and the 7/11 on the corner of the street, because it is important to tackle them as well. We will consider monitoring those establishments and, following our consultation last week, we have announced that we will review the penalties for alcohol offences to establish whether they are robust enough. I hope that my hon. Friend will make a contribution to our further consultation.