Retailers are being urged to be extra vigilant this Thursday (August 25) as students celebrating their GCSE results attempt to buy alcohol underage or by proxy.

Over 700,000 students across the UK are expected to collect GCSE results this week, and research from training company Under Age Sales has revealed that nearly half of 15 and 16 year olds (45%) intend to celebrate with alcohol.

A third of those intending to purchase alcohol said they are planning to buy it themselves from independent retailers.

The survey of 1,000 15 and 16 year olds also found that 30% will ask a family member or friend to buy alcohol for them, while one in 10 will try to use a fake ID.

Tony Allen, managing director of Under Age Sales, said: “Retailers need to make sure they not only understand the law around age restricted products, but that they also feel confident adhering to it.

“Training is key in order to protect retailers, their business and staff. As well as knowing when to ask for ID, retailers need to know how to request it and what to do if any issues arise.

“Our research found a quarter of teenagers who have been challenged for ID feel annoyed or angry, while 40% feel embarrassed. Retailers need to be able to handle situations effectively to ensure such feelings don’t escalate to anything more severe.

“What’s more, retailers need to be mindful of how they interact with their customers, as our research found 22% of 15 and 16 year olds feel they have been threatened or experienced violence after trying to purchase alcohol.”

“The law around age restricted products is there to protect young people and our communities.

“Retailers are the gatekeepers to preventing teenagers accessing items such alcohol and effective training can help empower them to carry out their work legally, fairly and confidently,” Allen added.

The data also showed that 26% of teenagers drink alcohol at least once a month and 13% drink at least once a week.