Proof of age scheme

This is a joint initiative between Sandwell Council, including Public Health, trading standards, traders and the DECCA Team.

The council's trading standards team receives many complaints from the public, the police and councillors about:

  • The sale of alcohol, solvents, cigarettes and fireworks to young people who aren't old enough
  • Criminal behaviour by young people under the influence of alcohol and solvents
  • Antisocial behaviour involving fireworks, particularly in the weeks preceeding November 5.

Sandwell retailers of age-restricted products frequently complain that they cannot tell a young person's age based on appearance alone.

The post of Age-restricted Products Officer (ARPO) has therefore been created within Trading Standards to focus exclusively on this area.

Retailers in Sandwell receive advice visits from the ARPO to ensure that they are aware of and are complying with the law to prevent under-age sales by asking young customers for proof of age cards.

DECCA organises for Sandwell schools to participate in the scheme, which involves Year 11 students (15 - 16 years old) being issued with an ID card showing a colour photograph of themselves, their date of birth and on what dates they will be 16 and 18.

These cards are then produced for the students to produce on request from retailers.

The scheme is ONLY delivered through Sandwell schools for year 11 pupils and unfortunately the cards cannot be issued to individuals who request them unless they have already had a card through the scheme.

If you have any queries regarding this scheme please contact Holly Bailey at the DECCA Team.

Email: holly_bailey@sandwell.gov.uk

Call: 0121 569 2201