A CAMPAIGN has been launched in Galashiels to cut down on adults buying booze for under-agers.

The Don’t Buy It, Don’t Supply It initiative will aim to highlight new legislation which makes it an offence to supply alcohol for anyone under 18.

Under the Air Weapons and Licensing (Scotland) Act 2015, if an adult is caught supplying or buying alcohol for anyone under 18, they face a fine of up to £5,000 or up to three months in prison.

And anyone under 18 who is caught with drink will have it confiscated with efforts then made to locate its source.

Retailers and licensees also face serious implications if caught breaking the laws.

Councillor Watson McAteer, who chairs Scottish Borders Council’s Police, Fire and Rescue and Safer Communities Board, was at the launch.

He said: “I am pleased to support the Don’t Buy It, Don’t Supply It campaign which has come about because of concerns raised directly by young people.

“Direct purchase of alcohol by an under 18 is rare, with the majority of alcohol being sourced from home, a friend or a relative.

“That is why this campaign is focussing on raising awareness amongst adults of their legal responsibilities and potential consequences if they are found to be buying alcohol for children and young people, which can be a significant fine or even lead to time in jail.”

Teenagers at the TD1 Youth Hub and Galashiels Academy came up with the slogan for the campaign.

And they also provided the poster design which will feature across the Borders.

Douglas Ormston of TD1 Youth Hub said: “The initiative came about after we did some research and discovered that underage drinking was an issue.

“After speaking to the Borders Alcohol and Drugs Partnership, we agreed to start a campaign to raise awareness, which has been taken forward by the Scottish Borders Safer Communities team.

“Alcohol can put young people into dangerous situations and lead to anti-social behaviour which is why we need to ensure adults do not buy or supply them with drink.”

The campaign will see police and partners carrying out a range of activities during the festive period.

And all 450 licensed premises in the region have been provided with a campaign poster.

Police Scotland Community Inspector Tony Hodges said: “We are committed to keeping young members of our community safe from harm and underage drinking increases the risk to their safety.

“In addition, a significant proportion of the youth-related anti-social behaviour we respond to comes as a result of those involved being under the influence.

“I would urge parents and guardians of all young people to discuss the dangers associated with underage drinking with their children.

“We will not tolerate such offences and fully support this campaign.”

The campaign is being taken forward by the Scottish Borders Safer Communities Team, which is made up of Scottish Borders Council, Police Scotland and the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, with support from the Borders Alcohol and Drugs Partnership.

The campaign will focus on key times when underage drinking is an issue – Christmas/New Year, rugby sevens season and Borders summer festivals – and will ask parents to think twice when their under 18 child asks them to buy alcohol.

Tim Patterson, joint director of Public Health and chair of the Borders Alcohol and Drugs Partnership, added: “It is really important that adults consider their responsibilities.

“We know that teenage drinking can have an immediate and long term impact on health and the earlier teenagers start drinking regularly, the greater the risk of problem drinking in adulthood.”

Anyone wishing to support the campaign can download information from www.scotborders.gov.uk/dontbuydontsupply