A survey carried out by an alcohol awareness charity found that underage buyers are able to get around the drinking age limit by ordering alcohol through supermarket online delivery services with nearly half of the children not being asked to produce age proof at the time of delivery.
The survey was carried out by researchers Alcohol Concern who questioned teenagers in Wales between 14 and 17 years of age. They found that around 15 percent of the teenagers had ordered alcohol online while two-thirds said that they found purchasing drinks online as the easiest way to bypass ID checks.
The survey was part of a sting operation conducted by South Wales Police in which 15 year old purchased beer, wine and vodka online. The police found that in 44 percent of the cases, the delivery was completed at the door without the buyer being asked to produce any proof of age with five different supermarkets being guilty of delivering the drinks on two dates.
"Retailers offering home delivery services need to toughen up. Their processes need to ensure that children and young people are prevented from accessing alcohol through this channel. Buying alcohol online via supermarket websites is unique in that the sale is made in private and with relative anonymity. Young people have told us that these sites offer less robust age verification practices and provide a quick and easy way to get hold of alcohol, especially for younger teenagers", Alcohol Concern's Mark Leyshon said.