Youngsters bypass high street to buy weapons and alcohol online

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Youngsters bypass high street to buy weapons and alcohol online

Antony Savvas

Young people are bypassing the high street and buying explicit video games, adult DVDs, alcohol and even weapons online.

A nationwide survey among 1,000 male and female teenagers aged 13-17 found that young people are consistently buying inappropriate material online thanks to poor levels of age verification.

The research by identity management firm GB Group revealed that nearly half (48%) of teenage boys under 18 have tried to buy adult DVDs or violent video games online in the past year, and over three quarters of these were successful.

In addition, one in 20 (5%) of 14-year-olds have successfully purchased alcohol online.

A similar number of 15-year-olds have been able to buy dangerous objects online such as knives.

The survey also found that a quarter (25%) of teenage boys and more than a third (38%) of teenage girls under 18 have managed to buy items online using someone else's credit card.

While the UK online gambling industry has embraced the latest age and ID verification processes to protect young and vulnerable consumers, GB Group said online retailers are still failing to verify customer ages.

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