On Saturday evenings, 15-year-old Bella* and her group of friends now have a well-practiced routine. They meet up at their local tube station in West London and scrape together all the pocket money they have. Five pounds will get them a cheap bottle of white wine, £8 a small bottle of vodka and £15 a large one.
Then, one at time, they will try the local corner shops to buy their supplies for the evening ahead – a task made easier by the fact they can now wear masks to disguise their age.
Bella says: “If we get asked, all of us have fake IDs too – mostly copies of our passport pages. It’s really easy now as there’s an app that lets you change your birth date to make you look over 18.
“We’d never get away with it in a supermarket. But we know the small shops who will often sell it to us – usually when the younger guys are behind the till who probably know we’re faking it but sell it anyway.”
Then, whatever the weather, the group head for a shelter in the local park, where they meet up with a group from the local boys’ school, who bring their own supplies.