The Scottish Labour Party is urging the Scottish government to make bottle tagging compulsory for retailers in a bid to combat underage drinking and selling alcohol to minors.

Under the scheme, unique codes are placed on bottles of alcohol so that they can be traced back to a store if under-18s are caught drinking. The police can then check a store's CCTV to determine who purchased the items.

Labour's community safety spokesman James Kelly said those who supplied alcohol to young people needed to realise that they were often "fuelling antisocial behaviour" as well as breaking the law. "Underage drinking can all too often be a direct cause of antisocial behaviour in communities," said Kelly. "This simple approach will hopefully help bring to justice those peddling booze to young people."

In response, the Scottish government said it had always encouraged police to make use of bottle tagging. A spokesman said: "Bottle-tagging remains an operational matter for police, often deployed during targeted exercises against underage drinking. However, we would caution against the blanket deployment of this measure, to ensure it remains effective."