LAST week's Home Office announcement that under-18s who buy alcohol will now face a £ 50 on-the-spot fine has been welcomed by Co-operative Group Chief Executive Martin Beaumont.
As part of the latest Government crackdown against under-age drinking and anti-social behaviour, retailers and licensed premises who sell alcohol to a drunken person will also now be liable for an £ 80 fine.
Mr Beaumont ? who welcomed Home Office Minister Hazel Blears to the Group's Welcome store in Maple Road, Sale, Greater Manchester, for a photo-call in connection with the announcement ? said: "We are keen to play our part in tackling under-age drinking and our stores and staff support schemes that help determine proof of age.
"These latest initiatives which will help the police crack down on this problem are to be welcomed."
Ms Blears said it was good to see the industry playing its part in tackling underage drinking through the 'No ID, No Sale' and 'Challenge 21' schemes.
"These clear and simple messages should be adopted by all retailers of alcohol," she said. "There is a lot of good practice being demonstrated, but there are still too many premises illegally selling alcohol to under-18s.
"We want to see a culture change where a young person attempting to buy alcohol accepts that being asked for ID is the norm. This culture change is possible if retailers adopt a consistent 'No ID No Sale' message."