Under-age Drinking (London)

Home Department written question – answered on 15th March 2005.

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Photo of Sarah Teather Sarah Teather Shadow Minister (Communities and Local Government)

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many prosecutions have taken place for under-age drinking in each London borough in each year since 1990.

Photo of Paul Goggins Paul Goggins Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Home Office

There is no specific offence of under-age drinking.

However, the available information from the Home Office Court Proceedings database, gives the number of defendants aged 10–17 years who were proceeded against in each London borough, for offences of being drunk, drunk at a designated sports event and drunk and disorderly together with defendants proceeded against for the offence of:

"Selling etc., intoxicating liquor to persons under 18 for consumption on the premises".

Figures for 1990 to 2003 are given in the following table. Statistics for 2004 will be available in the autumn.

In addition, the penalty notice for disorder scheme provides for persons who commit specified penalty offences to be issued with a fixed penalty notice instead of being prosecuted or cautioned. The scheme was extended to 16 and 17-year-olds from 20 January 2004. The second table details the number of penalty notices issued for the listed offences which involve under age drinking. These include offences committed by 16 and 17-year-olds and alcohol offences involving the purchase for, sale or delivery to persons aged under 18 years.

The penalty notice for disorder scheme has been extended to allow penalty notices to be issued to 10 to 15-year-olds and pilots of these powers are now under way in seven police force areas including the borough of Kingston in the Metropolitan police force area. A further under age drinking offence, purchase of alcohol on licensed premises by a person under 18, is to be added to the scheme as set out in a draft Order laid before Parliament on 17 March.

Persons aged 10 and under 18 proceeded against at magistrates courts for certain alcohol related offences, by London borough 1990 to 2003(16)
Offence/London borough 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996
Drunk in a highway or other public place, whether a building or not, or on licensed premises
Inner London magistrates courts(17)
City of London police
Guildhall Justice rooms
Metropolitan police
Bow Street(18) 1
Camberwell Green/Tower Bridge 2
Greenwich and Woolwich 1
Highbury Corner(19) 1
Horseferry Road 1
Marylebone
South Western
Thames
West London 3
Inner London Juvenile Courts(20) 4 1 1
Outer London boroughs
Metropolitan police
Barking and Dagenham
Barnet
Bexley
Brent 1 1
Bromley 1
Croydon 1
Ealing
Enfield
Haringey
Harrow
Havering
Hillingdon 1
Hounslow 1 1 1
Kingston-upon-Thames 2 1
Merton
Newham 1
Redbridge
Richmond upon Thames
Sutton
Waltham Forest
Total Metropolitan police 3 4 1 3 1
Total Greater London 11 2 8 1 3 2
Offence/London borough 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003
Drunk in a highway or other public place, whether a building or not, or on licensed premises
Inner London magistrates courts(17)
City of London police
Guildhall Justice rooms
Metropolitan police
Bow Street(18)
Camberwell Green/Tower Bridge 3 1
Greenwich and Woolwich
Highbury Corner(19)
Horseferry Road
Marylebone
South Western
Thames
West London 1 1 2 1 1
Inner London Juvenile Courts(20)
Outer London boroughs
Metropolitan police
Barking and Dagenham 2
Barnet
Bexley 1 3
Brent
Bromley 1
Croydon 1
Ealing 1
Enfield
Haringey 1
Harrow
Havering 1 1
Hillingdon 1
Hounslow 1 1
Kingston-upon-Thames 1
Merton 1 2
Newham
Redbridge
Richmond upon Thames 1 1 1 1 1
Sutton 1 1 1 1
Waltham Forest
Total Metropolitan police 2 1 1 5 10 4 5
Total Greater London 2 2 2 10 11 5 6

(16) These data are on the principal offence basis.

(17) Information held centrally does not allow a breakdown of cases by borough in the Inner London area.

(18) Includes Marlborough Street 1997–99.

(19) Includes Clerkenwell and Hampstead, 1997–98.

(20) Cases included with adult courts from 1998 (from 1999 for cases heard at the Crown court).

Number of penalty notices for disorder issued in London(21) for offences relating to alcohol—2004 (Provisional figures)
Offence Statute Number of notices issued
Offences committed by juveniles aged 16 and 17 years
Drunk and disorderly Criminal Justice Act 1967, Sec 91 22
Being drunk in a highway, other public place or licensed premises Licensing Act 1872, Sec 12 2
Consumption of alcohol in designated public place Criminal Justice and Police Act 2001, Sec 12
Consumption of alcohol by under 18 in licensed premises(22) Licensing Act 1964, Sec 169E(1)
Offences involving the purchase for, sale or delivery to, persons aged under 18 years
Sell alcohol to person under 18(22) Licensing Act 1964, Sec 169A 5
Purchase of alcohol in licensed premises for person under 18(22) Licensing Act 1964, Sec 169C(2)
Purchase of alcohol for consumption in bar of licensed premises for person under 18 Licensing Act 1964, Sec 169C(3) 2
Allowing consumption of alcohol by under 18 in bar of licensed premises(22) Licensing Act 1964, Sec 169E(2)
Delivery of alcohol to person under 18 or allowing delivery(22) Licensing Act 1964, Sec 169F 3

(21) City of London and Metropolitan police force areas.

(22) Offence added to PND scheme only from 1 November 2004.

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