Stopping underage drinking is not just down to parents

PUBLISHED: 01:01 27 March 2008 | UPDATED: 08:55 10 June 2010

I read with interest your front page article in the March 13 issue of the Exmouth Journal relating to underage drinking. As I have a teenage child in the household, I would rather remain anonymous should you choose to use my letter even the kids read th

I read with interest your front page article in the March 13 issue of the Exmouth Journal relating to underage drinking.As I have a teenage child in the household, I would rather remain anonymous should you choose to use my letter - even the kids read these letters. It is true that some parents are providing their offspring with alcohol, a situation that is ridiculous and cannot be condoned by any sane parent or adult. However, as almost two years' experience has shown us, the most cautious approach at home and even the limiting of available funds does not deter the youths who are intent on getting hold of alcohol from doing so. Our charge is certainly a well-sized specimen and has even started to sprout the odd whisker on his chin, but any person with any whit would not take him for an 18 year old, yet on a regular basis it seems he manages to obtain alcohol, either from other people making the purchase for him or doing so himself.Clearly, more than just a parental issue, why do individuals think it is okay to purchase alcohol for someone else's child, unless they are unscrupulously charging for the service? Furthermore, what about the shops and off licences doing other than just taking the easy option of filling the till?This is a situation where everyone has a part to play and is not just down to the parents. However much parents do, peer pressure will always play a part and we will never get an admission of where or how the drink is being obtained.Name and address supplied.FIND A SOLUTIONWith the issue of binge drinking still high on the news agenda, it would be refreshing to see some discussion of why young people drink and what can be done about it. Our young people say they started drinking because their friends drank, they wanted to experiment and they were following the example of family and friends. They also say their parents condoned or didn't care about their drinking. We believe it's time to find solutions to teenage binge drinking by challenging the problem at the earliest opportunity and giving young people reasons to be responsible. This approach works and will reduce teenage drinking.Clare Checksfield,Chief Executive, Crime Concern, London.

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