The Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) has urged the government to be cautious over claims that a national ID card would make a “significant difference” to preventing underage sales. ACS chief executive James Lowman said: “Retailers face a tough job preventing underage sales; this is


made harder because there is not a compulsory national ID card that all young people have to carry.” He said Home Secretary Alan Johnson’s proposals for a voluntary scheme did not address that concern, and would bring limited benefit to retailers seeking to prevent underage sales. He added: “In fact this means adding a further choice to existing options including photo driving licence, passport and credible proof of age cards approved by the Proof of Age Standards Scheme.”

Lowman stressed the need for urgent action in this area by industry, saying: “Retailers are successful in preventing underage sales when they put in place the training and procedures that ensure staff are challenging young people to prove their age. Advice and materials on how to do this are available from ACS.

“Across the trade this is already happening and no retailer should wait for a government ID card before taking action.”