Published:

PintIt wasn’t initially intended that this should be an ongoing series, but once again the Government has shown a staggering inability to answer a written Parliamentary question.

Nigel Evans (incidentally the only MP with the surname ‘Evans’, which seems statistically surprising) asked about people buying drink on behalf of the underaged:

"Mr. Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people were (a) arrested, (b) cautioned and (c) proceeded against for buying or attempting to buy alcohol for someone under age in each of the last three years. [228123]

Mr. Alan Campbell [holding answer 17 October 2008]: The information requested on arrests is not collected centrally. The offence of buying or attempting to buy alcohol for someone under age is not a notifiable offence and does not form a part of the arrests collection.

In relation to those cautioned and proceeded against for the offence of buying or attempting to buy alcohol for someone under age; I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by my hon. Friend the Member for Gedling (Mr. Coaker) on 23 April 2008, Official Report, column 2146W.

Data for 2007 will be available in November 2008."

Why on Earth will it take the best part of a year to put together data for 2007?!

The written answer referred to above revealed that no-one in England and Wales was proceeded against for attempting to buy alcohol on behalf of an individual under the age of 18 in 2004 or 2005, and that just two people were cautioned for doing so in 2005 (none in 2004). In 2006 there were 13 such cautions, and 18 people were proceeded against.

Is something fishy going on here?

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