Young people caught underage drinking by the police can now be
fined £80 on the spot.
Under powers that came into force on November 1, fixed penalty
notices can be issued for a range of offences including underage
drinking, shoplifting for the first time and minor criminal damage.
Police will continue to arrest in more serious cases or where they
suspect drug addiction.
Home Office minister Hazel Blears said that the fines will make
people think twice about committing minor offences.
“Vandalising property, fouling streets with litter, blind
drunk teenagers causing trouble or stealing for a buzz – this
is antisocial, criminal behaviour and a scourge on society,”
Home Office figures show that to date, 23,333 penalty notices
for disorder have been issued in England and Wales. PNDs can be
issued to adults and 16-17 year olds, and are due to be piloted for
10-15 year olds later this year.
New offences for which PNDs can be issued from November 1:
– selling alcohol to under-18
– buying alcohol for or by under-18
– delivery of alcohol to under-18 or allowing such delivery
– consumption of alcohol by under-18 or allowing such
– destroying or damaging property (under £500)
– theft (under £200)
– depositing and leaving litter
People who can’t or won’t pay the fine by a set
deadline face a heftier penalty. If they still don’t pay
courts can order the money to be deducted from wages or benefits,
or for goods to be seized, and can also send the offender to