John Whittingdale applauds Maldon shops’ adoption of  ‘No ID, No Sale’ policy to stop children buying alcohol and tobacco

John Whittingdale today (Friday 12 November 2010) called on local retailers to support the ‘No ID, No Sale!’ campaign which seeks to ensure that only adults can buy alcohol, tobacco and other age-restricted goods.  John was speaking at Maldon News and Off Licence (High Street, Maldon), where he was joined by store owner Mahesh Patel and CitizenCard’s Marketing Manager Nigel Catlow.

The Maldon MP said that following the new government’s decision to abolish National ID cards, schemes such as CitizenCard were essential: “I’m urging all young adults in Maldon to obtain a CitizenCard or similar ID that contains the police-endorsed PASS hologram.  Only then can retailers fully implement the ‘No ID, No Sale!’ policy which allows adults to buy whatever they wish whilst ensuring that children cannot buy alcohol, tobacco and other restricted goods.”

Mahesh Patel reminds his staff that they face a fine of up to £10,000 if caught persistently selling alcohol to under-18s: “We have no wish to supply alcohol or cigarettes to children and we offer our younger customers a CitizenCard form which means they can prove their age.  Every week we face dozens of attempts to buy alcohol and tobacco by young people and if they cannot present valid ID we always refuse the sale.”

More than two million CitizenCards have been issued across the UK since the scheme was launched by then Home Office Minister George Howarth in February 1999. The new government has continued the previous government’s policy of supporting the police’s endorsement of CitizenCards and other cards bearing the PASS hologram.