Rowen encouragement for Citizen Card

August 21, 2007 12:00 AM

Paul Rowen MP is encouraging the young people of Rochdale to sign up for a Citizen Card. The card, backed throughout the licensed trade is used as a legitimate 'Proof of Age' across the country. Dozens of teenagers throughout the Rochdale area have followed Mr Rowen's lead and have started to apply for Citizen Cards, credit-card size ID cards that allow them to prove their age.

Supported by Trading Standards, the Police and the Government, the message is designed to prevent illegal sale of tobacco, alcohol, lottery tickets, solvents and other age-restricted goods to teenagers who are too young. The legal age for selling alcohol, solvents and fireworks is 18. For tobacco and lottery tickets it is currently 16.

Mr Rowen has written to over 1000 young people, surveying their views and enclosing an application form.

Mr Rowen said: "This is the second time I have done this.

"Recently, Cheshire Chief Constable Peter Fahy spoke out about the dangers of underage drinking.

"This will enable businesses to identify underage drinkers and hopefully go someway to avoiding the type of anti-social behaviour we have seen recently caused by excessive underage drinking."

Parliamentary Questions have revealed that there were only 67 prosecutions for shops selling alcohol to children under 18 for a ten-year period, even though a Home Office survey indicates that many stores are breaking the rules, even after being caught.

Mr Rowen concluded: "By making these application forms available to the young people of Rochdale we have put responsibility into the hands of not just our young people but also businesses. That can only be a good thing!"