Police in the capital have noted that teenagers are more likely than ever before to offer sexual services to people who agree to buy alcohol for them.
“Many young people are prepared to go far to get alcohol, partly as a way of being popular with their friends. But they are not so good at gauging the intentions of the people buying alcohol for them,” the police said in a statement.
And it is no longer a case of police watching teenagers make contact with potential buyers on the street, as transactions are often arranged via text message and the internet.
Observation work carried out during the recent autumn school break highlighted one particularly disturbing finding: as the phenomenon of sex for booze becomes more common, known sex offenders have begun to show their faces at liquor stores.
Police detailed one encounter they tracked at the beginning of November.
“We came in contact with one man who made a purchase for three 16-year-olds,” said the police.
“They went out to his suburban apartment. The man had convictions for child pornography offences and sexual harassment.”
Police also listened in as another man discussed the possibility of obtaining the “panties” of girls for whom he bought alcohol.
“The signals indicate that young people risk being exploited in conjunction with the way they are choosing to procure alcohol,” said the police.