THE police have launched a new local campaign to tackle the problem of underage drinking in Inverclyde.

Senior officers want to clamp down on the number of adults buying booze for under-18s and have launched a drive called 'Don't ask for it'.

Inverclyde officers are joining forces with the licensing board, premises such as Morrisons and public agencies to raise awareness of the impact this illegal behaviour can have.

They say it has a damaging effect on the health of young people and can lead to anti-social behaviour in our communities.

Chief Inspector Paul Cameron, head of divisional co-ordination for Renfrewshire and Inverclyde, said: “The ‘Don’t ask for it’ campaign is a successful approach that tackles a serious issue that affects our communities.

"Underage drinking plays a huge part in anti-social behaviour, crime and violence.

"It is vital that we continue to work together to tackle this problem and make our communities safer.”

The new campaign has been launched in response to intelligence that under-18s are increasingly accessing alcohol by asking an adult to buy it for them.

Initiatives such as Challenge 25 have reduced the number of direct sales of alcohol to under 18s and led to under-age drinkers finding other ways to get their hands on booze.

It's hoped that the new drive will have the same sort of success as the challenge scheme.

The impact of the pilot project saw anti-social behaviour reduced by 13 per cent and the public reported 53 per cent less street drinking offences.