Promoting responsible community retailing: that has been the cornerstone of SGF’s activities throughout its existence (next year it celebrates 100 years). We devote significant resources to a range of projects aimed at helping retailers make a positive impact in their community, and October marks the end of a successful campaign across the North Lanarkshire area of central Scotland to reduce the proxy purchase of alcohol.

The ‘You’re Asking for It’ campaign has developed a positive relationship between retailers, Police Scotland and Licensing Standards, to great effect. Police Scotland analysts report that youth disorder incidents fell by 10%, while reports of children drinking on the street fell by 51%. In addition, 38 adults were reported to the prosecution service for buying alcohol for children. The campaign made extensive use of out-of-home media, while campaign packs were distributed to all retailers in the area.

Police Scotland used a number of tactics to crack down on hot spot areas including analytical mapping, town centre CCTV and gathering intelligence from the local community. They engaged directly with young people during the campaign, delivering presentations and awareness sessions.

The successful rollout in North Lanarkshire has generated interest from a number of other local authority and policing areas keen to learn from the campaign. SGF chaired the campaign steering group and is also collaborating with Police Scotland’s video production unit to develop a training resource for retailers to help them tackle the issue.