Issued By
West Yorkshire Trading
Standards Service


November 2001 saw the launch of the West Yorkshire Proof of Age Partnership in the East Leeds area. Its aim was to reduce the number of sales of age-restricted products such as alcohol and cigarettes, to children.  East Leeds was chosen because of the high number of complaints received regarding illegal sales in that area.

Since the introduction of the Partnership, West Yorkshire Trading Standards Service has not received a single complaint relating to underage sales in the pilot area.

That initial indication of success is supported by the formal evaluation of the Proof of Age Partnership. Questionnaires completed by both retailers and youngsters are very supportive of the scheme. Many retailers commented that having the schools on board increased their confidence that youngster’s dates of birth are correct and that every youngster old enough to purchase legally will have been issued with a card.  Youngsters involved state that they carry the card to obtain the discounts from shops such as Virgin, WH Smith and Electronics Boutique that are available on production of it.

The success of the Partnership in the pilot area means that the scheme can begin its roll out programme across the rest of Leeds, commencing in the North Leeds area with the long-term aim of covering the whole of West Yorkshire.  This has only been possible with the continuing support of the sponsors, including Safeway and KFC.  Alan Naylor, Personnel Manager for KFC said “It is a great privilege for us all at KFC to be associated with such a highly professional scheme.  Not only for its importance in reducing the sale of age restricted products to youngsters, but also for the involvement of the citizens of tomorrow”

Councillor Graham Clarke, Chair of West Yorkshire Joint Services said, “I am very pleased at the findings of the formal evaluation of the Proof of Age Partnership.  Anything that stops youngsters buying cigarettes and alcohol has to be commended.  Our new Educations and Promotions team will concentrate on rolling out the scheme to the whole of West Yorkshire and I hope to see a reduction in underage sales across the whole region”.


For further information contact:

Paul Cooper: Divisional Manager: 0113 2898240

Carol Hallett: Education & Promotions Officer: 0113 3836407


The seven schools involved in the East Leeds Pilot area were: Brigshaw High School, Copperfields College, Corpus Christi Catholic High School, Garforth Community College, Temple Moor High, Parklands Girls High and John Smeaton Community High.

Anyone wanting to report traders who they suspect are selling age restricted products to children should telephone the West Yorkshire Consumer Helpline on 0113 3848848