Tory leader David Cameron believes adults who buy alcoholic drinks for children should be named and shamed, with their photographs displayed around their home town.

The likely future Prime Minister's remarks, which echo our campaign to stamp out proxy purchasing of alcohol, were made last year during a visit to a police station in Lancashire.

He was reported as saying: "There is a problem with adults buying drink for minors and I would like to see systems whereby, when people are caught doing that, their pictures are put up in off licences all round town so people know that they have done it before and they shouldn't be trusted not to do it again.

"It is a good example where we can't just count on the police, we need to have everyone taking their social responsibility and that's shopkeepers and the rest of us, as well as the police."

And while we're pleased that Mr Cameron shares retailers' desire to see major suppliers of alcohol to children recognised, we believe that the ultimate responsibility for enforcement must lie with the authorities, not the retailer.

We've written to him to ask if he still stands by his comments, and to ask that he commits more resources to cracking down on adults who buy for children should his Party come to power next year.

One excellent example of local government services taking the initiative is the Tackling Alcohol Proxy Purchasing (TAPP) project set up by Leicestershire Police, Trading Standards, and other bodies including a local college. This summer it has produced a short film highlighting the issue of adults illegally buying alcohol for underage drinkers, which will be circulated on DVD among schools, local shops and alcohol outlets.

We're also calling for a proper sense of proportion from those in authority who are all too quick to point the finger of blame entirely at retailers if youngsters are caught with alcohol.

A police clampdown on public drinking in February 2008 reported that 15% of youngsters admitted that their alcohol had been supplied by a family member, friend or adult stranger the same proportion as had claimed to have purchased it from a shop.

And a NHS survey of nearly 8,000 pupils earlier this year found that an increased proportion of young people are buying their alcohol from family or friends.